Navigate Up
UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Senior Manager
Telephone: 412-578-9193 or 412-624-3212

Patients and medical professionals may call 1-800-533-UPMC (8762) for more information.

Heinz Endowments Funds Center for Healthy Environments and Communities at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health ​

PITTSBURGH, September 23, 2008 — To expand environmental public health efforts at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, the Heinz Endowments has awarded $200,000 to the school’s Center for Healthy Environments and Communities (CHEC). The grant will help support the Allegheny River Stewardship Project―a community-based environmental health project exploring water contamination in the Allegheny River, and one of CHEC’s flagship programs.

Founded with initial funding by the Heinz Endowments in 2004, the purpose of CHEC is to conduct research on the relationship between the ecosystem and human health and to serve as a resource for data, educational materials and general information on conservation and healthy and sustainable living. The renewed funding will allow CHEC to expand the geographical scope of the Allegheny River Stewardship Project into other areas in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, and to map water pollution concentrations to better understand health risks from environmental contamination.

“One of the things we strive to do within the center is to help individuals and communities identify the most important environmental problems they face and empower them to develop their own action plans for healthy living,” said Conrad D. Volz, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., director of CHEC and assistant professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “We are extremely grateful to the Heinz Endowments for their continued and sustaining support of this mission.”

According to Dr. Volz, CHEC employs a participatory research model based on an equal partnership between traditionally trained experts and local residents. “We believe that it is vital to involve community members in research projects so that they have a stake in the health and well-being of their own communities,” said Dr. Volz. 

In addition to the Allegheny River Stewardship Project, other CHEC initiatives include identifying environmental risk factors for high preterm delivery rates, low birth-weight rates and high asthma rates in the Braddock-Rankin area of Pittsburgh; working with Pittsburgh Public Schools to improve health and nutrition of students; and conducting training with physicians on environmental health issues.

CHEC faculty members include Robbie Ali, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, and Ravi Sharma, Ph.D., assistant professor, both of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences; and Charles Christian, M.Ed., CHEC manager. For more information on the CHEC, visit www.chec.pitt.edu.

The Heinz Endowments supports efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center of learning and educational excellence, and a home to diversity and inclusion. Committed to helping its region to thrive as a whole community―economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally―the foundation works within Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation to develop solutions to challenges that are national and even international in scope. One of the largest and most innovative independent philanthropic foundations in the country, the Endowments awarded more than $84 million in grants in 2007.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com