Since 1996, the Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) has served as a vital component in promoting communication between the public and Center scientists. The COEC shares research findings with the public and functions as a bridge to inform researchers about community concerns. The program draws directly upon research addressing key concerns in Southern California: traffic, air pollution and emissions from industrial facilities and southern California ports and freight transport operations. To address community concerns about these issues, the COEC has built strong community-academic partnerships to address health impacts and environmental health disparities. Click here to see a map of the COEC’s key environmental justice partnership communities in our region.
The COEC provides information to community organizations, public health professionals, and policymakers, empowering these stakeholders to take action to protect environmental health. Key strategies include sharing the latest research findings through print and online social media, giving presentations at local and national public health meetings, sponsoring workshops and conferences for the community to hear from scientists and at which our Center members can hear community concerns, and training community volunteers and student groups in community-based research. The COEC also provides written comments on significant new infrastructure projects (such as freeway expansions) to ensure that policymakers integrate public health concerns in their decision-making.
The COEC benefits from many advisors, including an External Advisory Committee, Environmental Justice advisors, and a Stakeholder Advisory Board with representatives from community-based, academic, public health, legal, children’s health, urban planning and communications backgrounds.
COEC co-directors: Andrea Hricko and Jill Johnston
COEC staff: Carla Truax and Wendy Gutschow