Mount Sinai Researchers Launch the Queens Children’s Environmental Health Education Campaign

Dr. Philip Landrigan and Queens Borough President Helen Marshall Announced Queens National Children’s Study Week.

New York, NY
 – September 8, 2010 /Press Release/  –– 

Philip Landrigan, MD, MSc, Dean for Global Health and Chair of the Mount Sinai Department of Preventive Medicine, joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall this morning to announce the launch of the Queens Children’s Environmental Health Education Campaign. Ms. Marshall and Dr. Landrigan, who is also principal investigator for the National Children’s Study (NCS) for New York and northern New Jersey, made the announcement during a ceremony declaring September 12 – 18 National Children’s Study Week in Queens.

The Campaign, which will continue for the next year, will send health educators, pediatricians and other experts in Environmental Health and Medicine from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine into the communities of Queens to teach residents about environmental exposures and health risks during pregnancy and childhood, and how to reduce these risks.

"We’re incredibly grateful to Queens Borough President Marshall for her support of the National Children’s Study," said Dr. Landrigan. "This study represents our generations’ best hope of discovery, preventing, and treating the major diseases of American children."

"It has been my pleasure to support and encourage participation in the National Children’s Study," said Queens Borough President Marshall. "Here in Queens, home to America’s most diverse population, we embraced the study early on, believing that it will have a dramatic effect on the future of healthcare. As a member of the Advisory Board, my office will continue to support and work with those involved in the study to generate maximum involvement and success."

The Environmental Health Education Campaign will feature a new series of workshops on environmental health for Queens residents. The first workshop, "Safer Alternatives to Plastics," will be Thursday, September 16 at 6:30 pm at the Queens Public Library, Jamaica Branch. Additional workshop topics include "Asthma Triggers in the Home" and "Pesticide Exposure in our Everyday Life." The series will include educational resource cards, fact sheets, and newsletters, available in English and Spanish. Groups interested in hosting future workshops should contact the National Children’s Study office in Queens at 877-782-6965 to arrange for presentations in places of worship, daycares, schools, and other community centers.

NCS, which was launched in 2009, is the largest long-term study of children’s health ever conducted in the United States. It will follow 100,000 children across the country from the mother’s pregnancy through the child’s adolescence with the goal of understanding how the environment affects child health and development. Queens was one of the first locations nationally to launch this historic effort in January 2009.

The study has engaged eligible women of child-bearing age throughout Queens, and has enjoyed the support of Borough President Marshall, public officials, and members of community boards, faith-based organizations, schools, health clinics, and other institutions serving children and families. A Community Advisory Board of over 20 members, representative of the Queens population, has guided Study investigators and staff.

NCS was launched at seven locations, called Vanguard Centers, across the United States: Queens County in New York City; Duplin County in rural North Carolina; Montgomery County outside of Philadelphia; Waukesha in central Wisconsin; areas of Minnesota and North Dakota with significant Native American populations; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Orange County, California. Another 30 centers will be in the field by the end of 2010.

Lessons learned from the Vanguard Centers will be incorporated as the number of Centers grows to 105 nationwide. The seven original Vanguard Centers have knocked on over 200,000 household doors to identify eligible women of child-bearing age, 18 – 49, and to offer them the opportunity to participate in the Study. As of the end of July 2010, 1,291 women have enrolled nationally and 466 babies have been born to women enrolled in the study.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Established in 1968, Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of few medical schools embedded in a hospital in the United States. It has more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 15 institutes, and ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institute of Health funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The school received the 2009 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked The Mount Sinai Hospital among the nation’s top 20 hospitals based on reputation, patient safety, and other patient-care factors. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients last year, and approximately 530,000 outpatient visits took place.

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