SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Public Health Institute is one of four organizations receiving grants through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) for environmental hazard studies.

DPH awarded a total of $100,000 in funding from funds that are part of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant awarded to DPH’s Bureau of Environmental Health. The program is an effort to detect, prevent, and control environmental hazards through investing in evidence-based decision-making tools, workforce training, and community outreach in Environmental Justice communities

“This award underscores our ongoing efforts to prioritize and address disparities in social determinants of health, which include environmental health,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “These four projects will provide us with valuable insight into how community-level interventions may be leveraged to build environmental health capacity across the state.”

Each organization will receive $25,000 between January and June 2023.

  • La Colaborativa, Chelsea – will address the environmental health impacts of poor housing conditions by expanding its “Up to Code Toolkit,” a multilingual web-based toolkit for residents to document housing code violations and hazardous living conditions.
  • Everett Community Growers, Everett – will build on its “Heat, Health, and Housing – Organizing for Resident-led Strategies for Development Without Displacement” project, a series of community workshops focused on developing climate-resilient solutions that do not lead to gentrification and displacement.
  • Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, Springfield – will expand on its “Healthy Air Network Project,” a community air quality data collection collaboration, by developing educational materials for the public about risks and ways to reduce exposure. 
  • Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts, Inc., Worcester – will increase awareness of environmental and public health issues that affect Southeast Asian and other immigrant, refugee, and asylee communities through the Environmental and Public Health Education program.