In a new National Library of Medicine-funded study, “Integrating Information Resources to Promote Environmental Health Literacy in Appalachian Kentucky”, a multidisciplinary research team from the University of Kentucky Colleges of Public Health (CPH) and Engineering (CoE), the School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), and the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute (KWRRI) will engage Eastern Kentucky residents in evaluating, synthesizing, and improving existing environmental health information for the region. The study also will test and disseminate new resources, with a goal of improving environmental health literacy (EHL) in this population. EHL is an emerging field focused on assessing and building the knowledge and skills people need to make sense of and protect themselves from potential environmental health threats. Improving EHL requires successful transmission of accessible, evidence-based, usable, and culturally-appropriate scientific, technical, and regulatory information.
“The University of Kentucky has a wealth of researchers, centers, and institutes studying environmental health issues,” noted Dr. Anna Hoover, the study’s principal investigator and an assistant professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health in the UK College of Public Health. “Many of these studies regularly share findings with lay audiences through risk maps, websites, fact sheets, and other materials. This grant will allow us to work with residents in Appalachian counties to ensure the real-world understandability and utility of these materials in hopes of increasing their impact across the region.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 01