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Urban Health Collaborative Grants Five Pilot Awards

May 30, 2017

The Urban Health Collaborative has selected five proposals for funding to promote urban health research at Drexel University. The projects cover a range of topics and will conduct research related to the mission of the UHC with an emphasis on understanding and improving health in cities, interdisciplinary work and partnerships.

2017 Funded Pilot Research Projects

Design and Implementation for Spatially‐Distributed Air Monitoring Campaigns in Philadelphia
Led by Jane Clougherty, ScD, MSC, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health
The primary goal of this study is to design and validate a template for an air monitoring network in Philadelphia. Currently, there is little available data to estimate spatial variation in air pollution exposures across all Philadelphia neighborhoods, for epidemiological and policy purposes. Dr. Clougherty’s project will inventory and map available data on air pollution emissions across the City of Philadelphia, develop site selection and temporal allocation to separate impacts of key pollution sources and implement a pilot NO2 air pollution monitoring campaign.

Development of a self-assessment tool to assess the work environment and policy at nail salons
Led by Tran Huynh, PhD, MPH, CIH, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Dornsife School of Public Health
Dr. Huynh aims to improve conditions for Vietnamese nail salon workers in Philadelphia though the development of an evidence-based intervention. The project will focus on the development of a self-assessment tool and technical assistance for nail salon owners. In addition, the project will develop technical training materials and collaborate with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) to identify staff for implementation, with the goal to initiate a pilot study.

The Creating Resilient and Strong Opinion Leaders (CRiSOL) Program
Led by Ana Martinez-Donate, PhD, Department of Community Health and Prevention, Dornsife School of Public Health
Through community‐academic partnerships between Drexel University, The Philadelphia AIDS Consortium, Women Organized Against Rape (WOAR), and Temple University, the project will develop and pilot test a new approach to promote community resilience in the Latino immigrant community in Philadelphia. Led by Dr. Martinez-Donate, the pilot research aims to inform a future research trial of an intervention to address the substance abuse, AIDS/HIC, STDs violence exposure, and mental health syndemic in Latino immigrants in Philadelphia.

Circadian Lighting for Improved Health and Well-being for the Older Adults at Casa Farnese
Led by Donald McEachron, PhD, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
The pilot research seeks to provide evidence that proper circadian lighting can enhance the lives of older Americans, thus maintaining such individuals’ lifestyles and independence for longer periods. Dr. McEachron’s circadian lighting study will address the need for daylight-mimicking lighting to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life for older adults, especially for those residents who live in subsidized affordable housing. The results of this study aim to provide a cost-effective and easily implemented approach for health improvement.

Development of Bayesian spatiotemporal models for small area estimation with an application to tract-level obesity rates in Philadelphia County
Led by Harrison Quick, PhD, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dornsife School of Public Health
Dr. Quick’s pilot study will develop new statistical tools to analyze census tract-level survey data in areas of Philadelphia where available data is insufficient to obtain “reliable” estimates using standard statistical procedures. These methods will be applied to data from the PHMC’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey to examine obesity rates for adults and adolescents geographically and by race, over time, and by age and sex. The project aims to develop methods that can be applied to a whole host of health indicators for the Philadelphia area.