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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Drexel Team Awarded CDC Grant to Develop Disaster Communications for Children with Special Needs, Autism Spectrum Disorders

Drexel University’s Center for Public Health Readiness and Communication (CPHRC) received a $1.15 Million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the disaster communication needs of children and youth with special health care needs and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Esther Chernak, associate professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, will lead the project, in collaboration with the Drexel College of Medicine and the AJ Drexel Autism Institute, as well as the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The project will use surveys, interviews and focus groups with families, providers, and other key stakeholders, to understand what these high-risk communities need to know to improve their outcomes after emergencies and disasters that threaten their health, and how and from whom they most want to receive information. The team will then develop communication toolkits, guidelines and message templates that address needs identified from the research, in preferred formats and for preferred communication channels.