May 4, 2017
The Center for Research on Families (CRF) and the Healthy Development Initiative (HDI) have awarded a $15,000 pilot grant to Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Krystal Pollitt and Springfield’s Partners for a Healthier Community as part of a new Community Partnership Research Grant Initiative. The proposed initiative represents a step in newly emerging commitment to creating and nurturing ongoing collaborations between UMass Amherst researchers and community partners in the Springfield area, such as those established through Project ACCCES and the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network.
Pollitt will join with Sarita Hudson, the Director of Programs and Development at Partners for a Healthier Community, to develop their grant proposal “The Fresh Air Project: Using the Exposome to Personalize Asthma Management.” Springfield suffers from rates of asthma double statewide estimates with a disproportionate burden impacting children and people of color.
Pollitt and Hudson seek to understand the prevalent environmental exposures for children and develop novel personalized control strategies that reduce exposure to these triggers of asthma. The project will partner with the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Pilot Program (SHHAPP), which will serve up to 20 families with four home visits for asthma management education and support, including distribution of supplies to address asthma. The long-term goal of the Fresh Air Project is to decrease hospital usage for asthma in Springfield.