The primary mission of the MIT CEHS Community Outreach Education and Engagement Core (COE2C) is to raise awareness and understanding of the impact of the environment on human health.
The COE2C focuses on two major audiences, people living in local towns near Boston and the healthcare professionals. We respond to the needs of students, teachers, healthcare professionals, public officials and other organizational groups in this geographic region. Community organizations such as the Mystic River Watershed Association help the COE2C stay in touch with the environmental health concerns of the 22 towns in the urban watershed including environmental justice communities such as Chelsea, MA. The Mystic River Watershed Association monitors water quality with the help of volunteers.
Our Advisory Board broadly represents the members of our community and they provide the COE2C feedback and input on numerous projects. The COE2C listens carefully about community members’ concerns and issues. This is an important aspect of bi-directional communication. The COE2C serves to connect local organizations with the CEHS experts needed to advise and aid them on the specific issues.
Photo courtesy of MyRWA
An example of the COE2C engagement activity is when community members wanted to know whether there was a health risk associated with boating on one section of the river. As a result, the COE2C brought in CEHS scientists to advise the “Friends of the Malden River” on this project.
In another major engagement effort, COE2C and has been listening to the concerns of Native Americans about their local water quality and health problems.The COE2C has met with several different Tribal Nation’s environmental leaders on location in Maine, including the Houlton Band of Maliseets pictured here.
Healthcare professionals are seeking workshops to help them understand gene-environment interactions. The COE2C offered two-day workshops on campus and continuing education units (CEUs).
It’s important to help youth relate science facts to the choices they need make in their everyday lives. The COE2C provides educators with engaging lessons and activities relevant to environmental health issues.