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W.K. Kellogg Foundation Awards $380,000 to Physicians for Social Responsibility

March 1, 2010

Contact: Marybeth Palmigiano, MPH
Tel: 978-376-9985
Email: mpalmigiano@psr.org

WASHINGTON, DC –  March 1, 2010 --  Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) has been awarded a one year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch the Safe and Healthy Children Initiative; a pilot project which will address pediatric environmental health in migrant and seasonal farmworker children.

The initiative has three main goals: 

1. To address the health disparity and environmental injustice faced by children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers by implementing an education and prevention program intended to reduce exposure to chemicals and environmental hazards that can lead to the development of conditions including learning and developmental disabilities, cancer, asthma, allergies and other respiratory illnesses.

2. To build on the knowledge, awareness and ability of clinicians, outreach workers, and teachers to better identify environmental threats to children's health and to employ strategies to reduce exposures including providing tools and resources for parents to help them take steps to protect their families from environmental hazards.

3. To mobilize physicians and other health professionals to advocate for environmental policies that decrease children's exposures to environmental pollutants and toxic chemicals.

Together with partner organizations, Academy for Educational Development and Health Outreach Partners, PSR will provide training on the unique vulnerability of children, exposures to environmental hazards, and prevention strategies to those uniquely positioned to protect children's health including physicians, outreach workers and community health promoters, family case workers, and early education teachers. Tested educational and training materials including PSR’s American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit (PEHT) will be used.  The PEHT was originally developed by PSR sister chapters in San Francisco and Greater Boston in partnership with the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at the University of California, San Francisco, and a team of pediatricians from around the country. 

“Safe and Healthy Children is a pilot project that offers a unique opportunity to bring awareness of environmental health hazards to Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs and Community and Migrant Health Centers across the county.  This program will build on the broader PEHT program which has been used to educate thousands of clinicians and pediatric health care professionals through residency training programs, medical and nursing conferences, a Centers for Disease Control on-line training course, half day trainings at medical centers throughout the country and local PSR chapter programs,” says PSR Environment and Health Director, Kristen Welker-Hood, ScD, MSN, RN.

Clinicians, outreach workers and teachers who work with migrant and seasonal farmworker populations will be included in the development and testing of additional educational materials to ensure that the end products are culturally and linguistically appropriate. Final materials will be available to download free of charge from Health Outreach Partners’ website.

For more information about the roles of AED and HOP in the project, contact:

For AED
Melissa Panagides-Busch MPH PMP,
202-884-8142
Mbusch@aed.org

For HOP
Kristen Stoimenoff, MPH
206-706-3938
Kristen@outreach-partners.org

Established in 1930, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation supports children, families and communities as they strengthen and create conditions that propel vulnerable children to achieve success as individuals and as contributors to the larger community and society. Grants are concentrated in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and southern Africa.

Physicians for Social Responsibility is the largest physician-led nonprofit organization working to prevent nuclear war and proliferation and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment.

The Academy for Educational Development is a nonprofit organization working globally to improve education, health, civil society and economic development.  Through their Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Technical Assistance Center, they serve more than 450 Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs in 38 states.

Health Outreach Partners is a national nonprofit organization that works to build strong, effective, and sustainable grassroots health models by partnering with local community-based organizations across the country in order to improve the quality of life for low-income, vulnerable, and underserved populations. 

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