Community Engagement Core

The Community Engagement Core provides bidirectional and ethical communication between the research projects and community to facilitate much-needed research and community engagement on environmental contamination in Puerto Rico and environmental and other contributors to preterm birth.

The mission of the Community Engagement Core (CEC) is to engage women participating in the center’s epidemiological cohort, and the broader group of residents in PROTECT’s groundwater study area, in northern Puerto Rico, in a bidirectional communication process that enables key stakeholders to offer lay perspectives and information, builds trust with the affected communities, improves study recruitment and retention rates, builds capacity for participants and their community organizations, and lays the groundwork for additional community-based participatory research projects.

Knowledge gained through this research will inform effective public health strategies for preventing preterm births in Puerto Rico and the U.S., and strategies to reduce exposures to environmental contaminants among pregnant women.

Phil Brown, Core Co-Leader

University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Health Sciences
Director, Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute
Northeastern University – website

Carmen Milagros Vélez Vega, Core Co-Leader

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Social Sciences
University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus

Julia Brody

Executive Director
Silent Spring Institute