News


CRESSH Photo Survey featured in NIEHS PEPH Newsletter

The CRESSH Photo Survey was featured in the July 2017 issue of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH) Newsletter. The article highlighted the work of the Patricia Fabian (Project 3 Director), Zoe Petropoulos (BUSPH PhD candidate), and other members of the MAP-EHD team who aim to understand varying exposures to indoor and outdoor air pollution in homes across Chelsea, MA. The MAP-EHD team photographed 1,100 homes in Chelsea and developed a crowd-sourced online survey to classify window-opening and window/wall air conditioning presence. The geo-tagged photos can be linked to sociodemographic information as well as air pollution levels in order to better understand how housing characteristics and resident behaviors can affect exposure. The MAP-EHD team plans to expand the photo survey in the future to include questions of interest to CRESSH partner communities, such as street tree plots, graffiti, and recycling bin use.

Read the full PEPH Newsletter article here. 

July 13, 2017


Chelsea and GreenRoots highlighted in WBUR story on growing urban heat islands and the associated public health concerns

Chelsea, MA is the focus of a recent WBUR story titled “No Tropical Paradise: Urban ‘Heat Islands’ Are Hotbeds for Health Problems.” The story is a part of a WBUR series on the effects of climate change in Massachusetts. The article highlights Chelsea residents as a population suffering from the adverse health effects of urban heat islands, which are densely populated urban areas where daily temperatures can be dramatically higher than in suburban areas. GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni was quoted on the cooling effects of trees and greenspaces throughout the city as well as the threats to those greenspaces, notably leakages in natural gas infrastructure that can affect tree health. The story highlights GreenRoots efforts to mitigate the effects of urban heat islands through the construction of two playgrounds and community gardens where Chelsea residents can seek refuge from rising temperatures. CRESSH Project 1 (HEAL) investigator Francesca Dominici also provided commentary on the increased risk of disease associated with drastic changes in temperature throughout the day.

Read the full WBUR story here.

July 11, 2017


Jon Levy and Madeleine Scammell publish a commentary for WBUR on the importance of prevention

CRESSH Co-Director Jon Levy, CEC Director Madeleine Scammell, and Wendy Heiger-Bernays (BUSPH faculty member) recently published a commentary for WBUR on the importance of prevention titled “Measuring the Health of The Climate By How Sick We Aren’t”. The commentary emphasizes the value of science-based EPA policies and regulations in preventing public health failures and promoting environmental protection.

Read the full WBUR commentary here.

July 11, 2017


CRESSH Project 1 (HEAL) collaborators publish new study on Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population

A new study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine by CRESSH Project 1 collaborators titled “Air Pollution and Mortality in the Medicare Population.” The nationwide cohort study included 61 million Medicare patients from 2000-2012. The study found that long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter) increases the risk of premature mortality at concentrations lower than the current EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The inclusion of the entire Medicare cohort also allowed for extremely accurate subgroup analyses which showed the highest estimated risk of death from fine particulate matter exposure among male, black, and low-income persons. The study was highlighted in an article on the NPR website and was also featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, which included commentary from Project 1 investigator Francesca Dominici.

Read the paper here.

July 11, 2017


CRESSH HOME Study investigators hold training for new fieldwork team members

In preparation for the summer 2017 data collection season in Chelsea and Dorchester new fieldwork team members were trained on how to conduct home visits for the CRESSH HOME Study. The training was led by Gary Adamkiewicz, Marty Alvarez, and Sara Gillooly of the HOME Study team as well as CEC Director Madeleine Scammell and Pilot Project recipient Dayna Johnson. The trainees included students and staff from BUSPH, students from HSPH, and employees from HRiA (CRESSH community partner). The group spent two days learning about the participant consent process, survey administration, exposure assessment protocols, and the CRESSH pilot study which is examining at the effects of individual and environmental stressors on sleep. The newly trained fieldwork team members will assist in HOME Study efforts this summer as data collection continues in Chelsea and begins into Dorchester.

July 11, 2017


CRESSH holds joint External Advisory Board and Internal Steering Committee meeting

CRESSH investigators were joined by members of the CRESSH External Advisory Board (EAB) and Internal Steering Committee (ISC) in June 2017 to discuss the progress of CRESSH projects and cores. The meeting took place at the Harvard School of Public Health and was attended by 28 participants, including CRESSH investigators, staff, community partners, doctoral students, External Advisory Board, and Internal Steering Committee members. CRESSH project and core leads as well as GreenRoots (CRESSH community partner) presented on their activities and progress over the past year and then opened the floor for questions and comments from the EAB and ISC members. The Center will use the insights from the meeting to sustain its focus on community-based environmental health disparities research and to continue to optimize the productivity of the projects and cores. Thank you to all that attended.

May 15, 2017


Click to read the CRESSH Spring 2017 Newsletter


Zoe Petropoulos presents at the Gijs van Seventer Environmental Health Seminar

On April 21, 2017, doctoral student Zoe Petropoulos presented on the CRESSH Project 3 Photo Survey at the Gijs van Seventer Environmental Health Seminar at the Boston University School of Public Health. The theme of the Spring 2017 seminar series is “New Technologies and their Impact on Environmental Health” and aims to explore novel technologies and how they can be used to better understand the exposome.

Zoe’s presentation, titled “ArcGIS Photo Survey: A Novel Method for Characterizing Resident Behaviors and Housing Attributes,” provided an overview of the ArcGIS Photo Survey tool and her recent work with Project 3 to develop a photo survey that can be used to analyze housing characteristics and resident behaviors, such as window-opening and window/wall AC unit ownership, in Chelsea, MA . The CRESSH Winter Photo survey, developed by Zoe and the Project 3 Team, is now live and can be taken here.

April 26, 2017


Madeleine Scammell presented with NIEHS ONES award

Community Engagement Core Director Madeleine Scammell has been awarded one of five prestigious National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Outstanding New Environmental Scientist (ONES) awards. Since 2006, the ONES program has been funding innovative environmental health research and highlighting outstanding future environmental health research leaders.

The ONES award will support Dr. Scammell’s research on the kidney disease epidemic in El Salvador. The project will be the first longitudinal study of its kind in the region to look at the roles of heat, herbicide and heavy metal exposures on the risk of developing kidney disease among agricultural workers.

Learn more about Dr. Scammell and her work here.

April 25, 2017


Jon Levy presents at BU Initiative on Cities conference: Cities and Kids

Jon Levy (CRESSH Co-Director) presented on the effects of the built and natural environment on urban youth at the BU Initiative on Cities conference titled “Cities and Kids: Enabling Optimal Development for Urban Youth”. The conference brought together researchers, policy makers, public health professionals, and family and youth advocates to explore the challenges facing kids in urban environments. Dr. Levy discussed previous research that looked at the relationship between housing characteristics and child health and also provided an overview of CRESSH projects and the Center’s aim to use a variety of monitoring and statistical methods to better understand how the home and neighborhood environments affect health outcomes in urban youth. Dr. Levy also participated in a panel discussion focused on the built and natural environment as they relate to urban youth.

March 29, 2017


CRESSH attends NIEHS FEST

Jon Levy presenting at NIEHS FEST

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences celebrated its 50th anniversary by hosting the first Environmental Health Science FEST in Durham, North Carolina from Dec 5th-8th. CRESSH researchers joined colleagues from around the United States to discuss the accomplishments and future directions of environmental health science. They also joined other Health Disparities Research Centers and EPA program officers for a full afternoon session.


There were multiple presentations by CRESSH investigators at NIEHS FEST including Jon Levy, who presented on analytical approaches to tackling environmental health disparities. Madeleine Scammell presented on a disaster response exercise that took place in Chelsea in collaboration with GreenRoots. She also facilitated a round table discussion on community-engaged research and citizen science. Francine Laden represented the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology in a concluding panel discussion on the major themes from EHS FEST and how they can placed in a broader context. CRESSH also presented a poster that outlined the aims of the Center as well as its strong community engagement focus. For a full list of talks and posters by CRESSH investigators, see below:

Oral Presentations

Analytical Approaches Used to Characterize and Address Environmental Health Disparities                                                 Jonathan Levy

Round Table Discussion: Stories from the Field on Community Engaged Research and Citizen Science: From Current Challenges to Future Possibilities                                                                                                                                                                        Madeleine Scammell

Boston DR2 Exercise and Community Involvement                                                                                                                                           Madeleine Scammell

Poster Presentations

The Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing Across the Life Course                                                                                                             Jonathan Levy, Francine Laden, Antonella Zanobetti, Gary Adamkiewicz, Patricia Fabian, Madeleine Scammell, John Spengler

The impacts of short-term temperature exposures on risk of sudden cardiac death in women                                                                                                                           Jaime HartFrancine Laden, Christine Albert

Whole Health Hula Hooping                                                                                               Traci Brown, Ann Backus

Ambient PM2.5 exposure in pregnancy, maternal prenatal antioxidant intakes, and infant autonomic response                                                                                                   Kelly Brunst, Chris Gennings, Brent Coull, Michelle Bosquet Enlow, Sri Kannan, Harish Ganguri, Itai Kloog, Joel Schwartz, Robert Wright, Rosalind Wright

Prenatal Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution and Anthropometry in Urban Children: Sensitive Windows and Sex Difference                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Yueh-Hsiu Mathilda Chiu, Hsiao-Hsien Leon Hsu, Ander Wilson, Brent Coull, Itai Kloog, Joel Schwartz, Robert Wright, Rosalind Wright

December 15, 2016


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