Local Environmental Health Concerns: Improving the Relationship between Community-Based Participatory Organizations and Governmental Public Health Agencies
Recognizing that communities often perceive government public health agencies as not adequately addressing the health effects of environmental contaminants, health management and policy major Danielle Laroche designed a summer research project to explore this relationship. The question she proposed was, “How can the cooperation between community-based participatory organizations and local, state, and federal government agencies be maximized to promote better relationships and acceptance of public health investigation findings?”
Danielle focused on two organizations—Citizens Leading for Environmental Action and Responsibility in New Hampshire (C.L.E.A.R. N.H.) and the Department of Environmental Services—to investigate the barriers that keep these groups from working efficiently and harmoniously. C.L.E.A.R. N.H. is specifically concerned with the Wheelabrator municipal solid waste incinerator in Claremont, which produces hazardous chemical emissions. Based on personal observations and interviews, and with access to the Department of Environmental Services’ public health hearing files, Danielle will compare her findings and recommend ways for community and government organizations to work together.