Student and Alumna Receive Grant Award

School of Public Health

Health Behavior doctoral student and director of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research at UAB, Amy Badham, and UAB Public Health Alumna Molly Richardson, post-doctoral fellow, Department of Population Health Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University received a grant awarded by the UAB Community Health Scholars Pilot Grant Program to conduct an environmental health education program in Wilcox County, AL at BAMA Kids with 1st - 6th grade students.

Congratulations Amy and Molly!

 

The project summary for the grant is listed below.

Wilcox County, Alabama, has struggled with environmental issues for years, documented as early as 1993. In focus groups over the last five years and most recently in September 2016, residents have raised concerns over the access to and quality of drinking water as well as potential contamination from lack of adequate sewage and septic systems. Community members have raised particular concern over potential gastrointestinal issues (parasites) in children.

To compliment an upcoming project in the community to test children for GI issues related lack of proper sewage and sanitation disposal, we propose an educational program focused on safe water at BAMA Kids. The purpose of the program is to engage children (ages 6-12) and their families. West Central Alabama Community Health Improvement League (WCACHIL) and BAMA Kids will be the community-partners for this program. They are very active in this community and have previous experience working with these UAB researchers to plan and execute CBPR. Key personnel include Ethel Johnson, WCACHIL and Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews, BAMA Kids, Molly Richardson, PhD, post-doctoral volunteer and Amy Badham, Director of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research.

UAB masters or undergraduate Public Health students engaged in service learning or internships will also plan and implement the program. Together, we will develop an interactive curriculum using supportive materials from US Environmental Protection Agency to better understand safe drinking water. The ultimate goal of the program is to facilitate communication and knowledge in the communities about the water issues. Program evaluation will include pre-post written surveys of educational content and self-efficacy related to serving as a leader for this issue in the community. Parents will also be surveyed to assess what information students communicate to the household. The program will include an engaging, community-wide event in Camden and presentations at national meetings like National Public Health Association and relevant UAB meetings like the annual Community Engagement Institute.