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Latest Results From Our Ezra Health Surveys

This poster describes the Ezra Prentice Homes Initiative, which began in response to the concerns about heavy truck and train traffic near Ezra Prentice Homes. To address concerns about the health effects of exposure to air pollutants, AVillage…,Inc. & the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center developed community health surveys to assess residents’ health conditions, needs, and concerns. Surveys were administered to residents, and meetings were arranged with policymakers, government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency & the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and truck & train industries to prioritize the health & well-being of residents.

A Resident Outreach Worker (ROW) Model, a novel community based participatory research approach, was utilized; ROWs reached out to residents to participate in the survey, administered a brief survey on environmental health concerns, and conducted extensive outreach to inform residents about bi-weekly community meetings with stakeholders. As of result of collaborative efforts between ROWs and trained university students, 116 households completed the environmental concerns surveys, and 89 households completed comprehensive health surveys.

74% of respondents reported concerns over the trains. Preliminary results reveal that chronic health disparities exist among Ezra residents, with nearly 39% of children under 12 years reporting asthma. A major conclusion of this work is that community-based approaches can be used to assess community health and to empower residents. Thus far, survey results and advocacy efforts have attracted stakeholders namely the DEC and the Capital District Transportation Committee to investigate air pollution and truck traffic at Ezra. Future work will involve the continuation of survey administration.

Akua Boakye-Yiadom

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