June 5, 2017
A collaboration between Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Krystal Pollitt and Ezra Markowitz in Environmental Conservation is among the four University of Massachusetts Amherst projects chosen to receive Public Service Endowment Grants (PSEG) from a special campus fund designed to boost outreach, extend the campus resources into the surrounding community and enhance the public service mission of the university.
PSEG grants support collaborations between community partners and university scholars to address complex public issues through community-informed projects. Its vision statement calls for the program to emphasize “converting knowledge into readily usable forms for immediate applications.” It is administered by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement.
Pollitt and Markowitz will receive $14,850 to work with Partners for a Healthier Community, BayState Medical Center Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department and others on “The Fresh Air Project: Profiling Children’s Environmental Exposures in Springfield.”
As they explain, Springfield suffers from high rates of childhood asthma with large ethnic and race disparities. This project seeks to improve disease management in 20 families with home visits to educate children and their families about asthma triggers. They will partner with the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Pilot Program to address poor housing conditions related to asthma triggers. As part of this, the researchers will develop interactive learning activities to introduce children at the Springfield Renaissance School to new areas of science that go beyond traditional curriculum to foster appreciation of the importance of disease self-management and future asthma prevention.