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ASPPH/EPA Fellow Contributes to Seminal NIEHS/EPA Report on Children’s Centers

The NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Centers Impact Report: Protecting children’s health where they live, learn, and play, highlights the contributions and impacts the Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (Children’s Centers) have made in research, public health, and communities.

Second year ASPPH/Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Health Fellow, Ms. Emily Szwiec, along with her fellowship mentor, Ms. Nica Louie, and co-worker, Ms. Hayley Aja, recently co-authored the landmark report which synthesizes over 17 years of children’s environmental health research from the Children’s Centers. The EPA and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) jointly fund the Children’s Centers, which were established in 1997 to better understand the effects of environmental exposures on children’s health.

“Publishing this report and being able to communicate the research from the Children’s Centers was a huge accomplishment ,” says Ms. Szwiec. “This report was intended for a broad audience- from expecting parents to community leaders to healthcare providers. The Children’s Centers are doing amazing work in the field of children’s environmental health and in communities, and we hope people are able to learn a lot from this report.”

The report is divided into three main sections (1) health outcomes, which summarizes research on outcomes such as cancer and neurodevelopment; (2) environmental exposures, which focuses on children’s exposures to things such as air pollution and pesticides; and (3) hallmark features of the Children’s Centers, which includes the program’s unique components like the Children’s Centers community outreach and translation. Developing the report required a collaborative effort with Children’s Centers researchers, EPA, and NIEHS.

“Being able to complete my ASPPH fellowship at the National Center for Environmental Research has been nothing short of amazing,” says Ms. Szwiec. “The opportunities I have had- from the Children’s Centers and the communities they work in to attending meetings on Capitol Hill- and the skills I have gained are unique to this program. I know that my experience as an ASPPH Fellow will forever shape my public health career.”