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Workshop Abstracts

Name of Session:

Session D 5

Program Planning, Training, Education, and Communication in Environmental Public Health

Description of Session

This session brings together several topics related to program planning, training, education, and communication in environmental public health.

Presenter(s) E-mail
Moderator: Sharunda Buchanan, PhD
Presenter: Matt Falb, MHS

Title of Presentation:Potential Walkers and Neighborhood Characteristics around Public Schools in Georgia Abstract_21
Presenter: Antonio Neri, MD

Title of Presentation:Preventing Cruise Ship Outbreaks of Gastroenteritis Abstract_28
Presenter: Roger B. Perales, MPH, RS

Title of Presentation: STEER: An Innovative Model for Environmental Education for Health Professional Students Abstract_33
Presenter: David Coffey, DMin, LPC

Title of Presentation:Benefits and Challenges for the Use of a Consensus Decision-making Process in Small Group Negotiations Abstract_39

Abstract 21

Potential Walkers and Neighborhood Characteristics around Public Schools in Georgia

Description of Abstract

ArcGIS software was used to determine the precise location of all public schools in Georgia (n=1,887) and perimeters of areas that were a safe (Impedance-based Pedestrian Catchment Area) and reasonable walking distance (half-mile or one mile, depending on student age) via existing streets. The number of children by age and demographic characteristics within each perimeter was estimated by use of 2000 census information. Potential walker estimates were calculated by dividing the number of school-age children in the neighborhood by the enrollment for each school (obtained from Georgia Department of Education). Street connectivity data included total street length, intersection density, and ratio of intersections to cul-de-sacs. SAS was used to analyze potential walker, demographic, and street connectivity data. Few (< 12%) school children in Georgia can walk a safe and reasonable distance to school. Schools with greatest potential for walking were located in neighborhoods with high residential density and street connectivity. Walk to school programs should target schools located in neighborhoods with high residential density, street connectivity, and appropriate speed limits around the schools.

Abstract 28

Preventing cruise ship outbreaks of gastroenteritis

Description of Abstract

A majority of gastrointestinal illness outbreaks aboard cruise ships are now caused by norovirus. These outbreaks spread rapidly through person-to-person contact and are difficult to prevent or control once established.

In January through March 2006, CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program administered three passenger surveys during separate cruise ship outbreaks caused by norovirus. In total, 286 cases were compared to 923 controls.

Cases were significantly less likely to know that hand sanitizer was present prior to knowing an outbreak was occurring; less likely to use hand sanitizer after using the restroom; and more likely to have a sick cabin-mate or sick social contact.

Cruise ships may be able to decrease the incidence of norovirus outbreaks by educating passengers regarding hand sanitizer location and proper use while on the ship, emphasizing symptom recognition, and encouraging early symptom reporting. Future studies should focus on evaluation of the gastrointestinal illness surveillance system, hand sanitizer use, and the effects of implementing these recommendations on decreasing disease occurrence.

Abstract 33

Teaching Environmental Health to Health Care Profession Students: Making the Connection Outside the Clinic.

Description of Abstract

The South Texas Environmental Education and Research (STEER) Center of the UTHSCSA offers a one-month elective course that allows health professions students to explore in vivo many of the environmental and public health concerns that affect the South Texas border region. Through numerous partnerships that include community-based organizations, federal agencies (U.S and Mexico), state and local health departments as well as academic partnerships, STEER students are able to learn about indoor and outdoor air quality, water and waste water treatment, TB, rabies, dengue fever, heavy metals, and international health and herbal medicine. In addition, they visit a maquiladora plant in Mexico to observe working conditions and discuss such topics as occupational medicine, ergonomics and worker safety. Students perform raw water testing by looking at water quality indicators and often find themselves in hip-waders in the Rio Grande River gathering data. The STEER opportunity to study environmental medicine and public health while learning how true public health collaborations work occurs in a unique setting and provides a learning experience that cannot be found in any textbook. Presenter:

Abstract 39

Benefits and Challenges for the Use of a Consensus Decision-making Process in Small Group Negotiations

Description of Abstract

This presentation will focus on the challenges and benefits of the use of consensus as a tool for negotiating environmental health-related decisions in small group sessions. We will explore challenges and misconceptions about consensus decision-making that discourage facilitators from using consensus even when the advantages of this process are known. The presenter is a Coordinator of the New Mexico Environmental Health Coordinating Council, which is using consensus to make decisions. This Council consists of a mix of agencies, organizations, associations, advocacy groups/coalitions and Native Americans. It meets to assess, plan and act around EH capacity and concerns in the state. The conditions necessary for using consensus, the ways to actually get to a decision, how to avoid false consensus, how to deal with disagreements and inappropriate “blocking” of consensus will be explored. Participants will be encouraged to share experiences and discuss the process. Examples from the Council’s work and other experiences with consensus decision-making as a tool for negotiating will be provided. The benefits of consensus compared to “majority rule” and polling vs voting will be discussed.