SCORE Lunch Series Continues March 21st with Presentations on Disaster Preparedness and Resilience

The SCORE Initiative continues this spring with presentations on the theme Disaster Preparedness and Resilience on March 21st from 12-1:30 p.m. The following faculty will be presenting their work:

  • Pets and Other Animals as Barriers to Disaster Preparedness; Elizabeth Shay, Geography and Planning and Maureen MacNamara, Social Work
  • A Cyber-security Risk Assessment Checklist to Prevent Breaches of Patient Health Information; Elizabeth McGrady, Nutrition and Health Care Management
  • Measures of Emergency Preparedness Contributing to Nursing Home Resilience; Maggie Sugg, Geography and Planning and Sandi Lane, Nutrition and Health Care Management

Also, mark you calendars for the Scholarship, Teaching and Learning theme on April 26.

Review: SCORE - Environmental Health

On February 20th, the SCORE initiative kicked off its first event of the semester with a focus on Environmental Health. The following faculty presented their work to fellow faculty and staff members:

  • Dr. Richard Rheingans, Chair and Professor in Sustainable Development presented "Environment, Equity, and Health: How social vulnerability amplifies environmental health threats"

  • Dr. Rebecca Battista, Interim Director of the Office of Student Research and Associate Professor in Health & Exercise Science presented "Promoting healthy outdoor play and exercise for children and youth through interdisciplinary research"

  • Dr. Susan Doll, Associate Professor in Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment presented "Impact on Environment and Human Health: the double-edged sword of technology"

Dr. Rheingans researched inadequate water and sanitation in an urban area of Kenya where there was a recent outbreak of cholera. In collaboration with a local health department and university, the research team went to 800 households to collect data on behaviors . They wanted to determine what is cholera, where it was coming from, and why the water was a carrier for the disease. Although 91.2% of households were getting water from the tap stand, 50% of those samples were contaminated with E.coli once they returned home. Research findings showed that the containers used for carrying water were already contaminated. In addition to these findings, Dr. Rheingans looked at access to clean water in conjunction with socioeconomic status. People with more resources were more likely to have cleaner water, whereas higher levels of infection were in poorer communities.

Dr. Battista conducted this research in collaboration with Dr. Joy J. James from the Recreation Management and Physical Education and Richard Christiana from Health & Exercise Science. Their research began two years ago with a pilot study titled "Promoting Healthy Outdoor Play and Exercise for Children and Youth Through Interdisciplinary Research" using the HOPE Lab. Pedatricians prescribed 60 minutes of physical activity to families with children aged 5-13 years old. Most recently, the three faculty members have conducted a qualitative study to find if the presription works by interviewing 15 pediatricians. They are now partnered with ParkRx and plan to launch ParkRx High Country area. Their research has been supported by the Unviersity Research Council, US Play Coalition, and the Chancellor's Innovation Scholar Program.

Dr. Doll discussed two recent research projects about indoor air quality in North Carolina and Rwanda. She wanted to study how making your home more energy efficient through weatherization affected its indoor air quality. After the weatherization of a home, Dr. Doll collected samples of the air quality. She found that air quality was not affected by the weatherization of a home except for homes of smoke users. In Rwanda, Dr. Doll studied the correlation of the efficiency of stoves and the indoor air quality in homes. The research findings showed that the stoves did not help with energy effiency, but they helped with indoor air quality. Energy efficiency and indoor air quality can impact other factors, such as health. When smoked stoves were utilized in homes that have thatched rooves, the smoke served as a depesticide. This prevented infestations, mosquitoes, and malaria.

Following each faculty member's presentation, workshop participants brainstormed potential solutions and opportunities for collaboration among one another. With her background in engineering, Dr. Susan Doll was interested in how technology intersected with Dr. Richard Rheingans and Dr. Battista's research. With the idea of technology as a "double-edged sword," individuals discussed how technology, such as elevators offer convenience, but also reduce physical activity. Dr. Susan Doll also brainstormed opportunities to incorporate technology in Dr. Battista, Dr. Joy J. James, and Dr. Richard Christiana's research by using a soccer ball that generated energy.

SCORE's Mission

SCORE Initiative – Sustaining Collaborative Opportunities for Research and Education

This inter-institute effort is to recognize, support and build interdisciplinary research and education at Appalachian. This initiative will provide support for research, creative and scholarly endeavors, as well as community outreach and programs between RIEEE and IHHS which include programs focused on environment, energy, and economics as well as holistic well-being with the overarching goal of improving lives.

Partners in this effort are: Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics (RIEEE)Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services (BCNC IHHS), and The Office of Research. To learn more about the SCORE initiative, please visit their website here.

Published: Mar 19, 2018 8:07am