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Environmental Health Disparities

Belfast, Northern Ireland

I have a substantive track record in conducting interdisciplinary and policy relevant research on racial and economic disparities in exposures to environmental contaminants and the implications for health outcomes. I use quantitative approaches, including risk assessment principles, and draw from social determinants of health theories to gain deeper understanding of the drivers and cumulative health impacts of disparities in human exposure to environmental contaminants and social stressors, especially among minority, low income and vulnerable populations such as children. 


Research Employing Environmental Systems and Occupational Health Policy Analyses to Interrupt the Impact of Structural Racism on Agricultural Workers and Their Respiratory Health (RESPIRAR)

Excited to be collaborating with El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores AgricolasCATA and colleagues from Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at UMD School of Public Health, UMB Carey School of Law, American University, Indiana University and the Social System Design Lab at Wash U in St. Louis on our new project, RESPIRAR. 

Despite outbreaks of COVID-19 among Black and/or Latinx migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs), few studies have comprehensively evaluated these disparities through the lens of structural racism (SR) which is defined as the macro level systems, social forces, institutions, ideologies, and processes that interact with one another to generate and reinforce inequities among racial/ethnic groups. Our R01 study, funded by NIEHS, will be the first to combine environmental health science, community-based system dynamics (CBSD) theory, statistical analysis and public health approaches with legal analysis to unpack the mechanisms through which SR shapes COVID-19 trends among Black and/or Latinx MSFWs. Results will inform the design of policies and best practices to counter long-standing mechanisms of SR impacting MSFWs, optimize living and working conditions for better health protections and to control future outbreaks of infectious disease among these vulnerable workers.

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