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Sustaining a nurse-led community partnership to promote environmental justice Public Health Nursing




The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment (WPHE) is a longstanding group of community stakeholders that was formed over a decade ago to identify, prioritize, and address environmental health (EH) concerns in a low-income, predomi- nantly African American, urban neighborhood, which faces a disproportionate burden of EH risks, particularly asthma. Launched by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing, which established a nurse-managed health center within the com- munity 30 years ago, WPHE utilized the Protocol of Assessing Community Excellence in Environment Health methodology to develop, implement, and sustain the partner- ship. WPHE implemented programs for Healthy Homes, Healthy Day Cares, and bicy- cling, and made system and infrastructure changes within the community to address the top identified EH concerns: indoor and outdoor air pollution, mold exposure, ac- cess to safe and healthy food, and pesticide exposure. WPHE's efforts have resulted in significant local, state, and national policy impacts to promote environmental jus- tice. This brief report shares how the partnership was formed, its priorities, major activities and accomplishments, and insights into sustaining a community-based EH partnership, including recommendations for the key role that public health nurses can play to promote environmental justice.

Author List

Dressel A, Bellā€Calvin J, Lee E, Hermanns L, Anderko L, Swaney V, Steinberg J, Hawkins M, Yeldell S.


Joshua A. Steinberg MD Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

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