Core D: Community Engagement Core

Core Leader: Dawn Brewer, PhD, RD, LD

Core Co-Leader: Gia Mudd-Martin, PhD, MPH, RN, FAHA

Program Manager: Emily Cravens 

Graduate Trainees: Christina Wilson

The Community Engagement Core supports the work of the University of Kentucky Superfund Research Center (UKSRC) by working with various community partners to develop creative solutions to improve diet and physical activity because of the critical role that these healthy lifestyles have in reducing a person’s exposure to environmental hazards. Educating communities and providing opportunities to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices are methods used by the CEC to generate positive public health impact and support the overall goal of the UKSRC. To accomplish this, the CEC engages with established community partners, as well as new partners, in eastern Kentucky and with the older adult population. The prevention and intervention strategies of the CEC are grounded in evidence-based approaches by intervening at multiple levels of the Social Ecological Model of health behavior change, including the individual, community and organizational levels. Intervening at multiple levels allows the CEC to implement healthy lifestyle and environmental pollution education into existing community programs that reach populations across the lifespan. The CEC’s programs and activities are designed to meet the community’s needs and are evaluated by measuring outcomes that demonstrate community sustainability and improved knowledge, attitudes, and health behaviors focused on reducing health risks associated with exposure to environmental pollutants.