- Dajun Dai, PhD
- Gwen Smith
- Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, PhD, MPH
Research Project Description
"REMOVE: A community-based approach to advance environment justice and health
Our primary research question is whether geographically focused health messages developed by lay citizens could increase radon testing in communities of color. We propose a participatory program-Radon Evaluation, Mitigation, and Ventilation (REMOVE) to empower minority homeowners so that they can effectively take actions. Our central hypothesis is that novel application of geospatially focused participatory mapping and messaging can influence knowledge, attitudes, and behavior change that leads to reduction of radon exposure in communities of color.
To answer the research question, our team will 1) spatially harness existing radon tests and socioeconomic data to empower homeowners in Collier Heights to identify radon risks; and 2) develop REMOVE program to improve radon literacy, increase screening rates, and thus reduce exposure. Specifically, we will engage communities in generating knowledge, actionable data, and health messages from lay citizens to advance community environment and health.
1.1 Conduct qualitative baseline surveys of homeowners, focusing on difference in radon knowledge and risk perception in a minority neighborhood.
1.2 Perform qualitative and quantitative analyses to assess the difference in life concerns, experiences, and radon risk perceptions.
2.1. Develop REMOVE, a participatory based program that engages lay citizens in developing health messages.
2.2. Conduct a pilot study to assess the effect of this program to determine if it positively impacts screening outcomes measured by willingness to take radon screening and actual actions of conducting radon tests at their homes.
2.3. Perform a focus-group discussion, with inputs from the REMOVE participants, to disseminate the messages that will lead to home testing.
2.4. Establish efficacy of the participatory health messaging as assessed by evaluating the successful avoidance of radon exposure.
Dajun Dai, PhD
Dajun Dai is an Associate Professor of Geography at the Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University. He is specialized in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), mapping, health geography, and quantitative geographic analysis. His research addresses built environment, access to health care, neighborhood effects, health disparities, and their implication on planning, public health and policy. He is committed to promote environmental literacy and to advocate environmental justice.
Gwen Smith is the founder of Collier Heights Assoc for Revitalization, Resilience, and Sustainability (CHARRS), an organization focused on Environmental Justice, health and education equity. Through CHARRS, she utilizes her relationship building skills to create circular social economy partnership opportunities that leverages partners' resources needed to address environmental and health inequities in African American communities.
Na'Taki Osborne Jelks, PhD, MPH
Na'Taki Osborne Jelks is an assistant professor of Environmental & Health Sciences at Spelman College. She investigates urban environmental health disparities; the role of place, race, and social factors on health, cumulative risk assessment; and linkages between urban watersheds, pollution, built environment, and health. She is engaged in community-based initiatives that enable low- income and communities of color to reduce exposure to environmental health hazards and improve health & wellness.