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School of Community & Environmental HealthCommunity Engagement

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Student talking with friends at Whitehurst Beach.

Building Stronger & Healthier Communities


The School of Community and Environmental Health is committed to building stronger and healthier communities by working and partnering with individuals and organizations to address the region's most critical health issues. Our students and faculty engage in various community-based activities including service and civic learning, academic internships and practicums, and scholarly activities and research.

Faculty members have led and conducted a wide range of community-based projects including those funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US Environmental Protection Agency to address environmental justice, air quality, health disparities, injury prevention, and food deserts, among others in disadvantaged communities and communities of vulnerable populations in the Hampton Roads Area.Specific projects and initiatives have included or include some of the following, for example:

  • A community-based participatory approach for Southeast community resilience and adaption to address lung health Impacts exacerbated by climate change.
  • A community-based participatory research approach to understanding and reducing risks from toxic pollutant exposure in the Southeast community of Newport News, Virginia.
  • Environmental factors and obesity risk: implications for urban planning.
  • The Let's Move Virginia Beach (LMVB) healthy eating and physical activity intervention was developed by the Virginia Beach Public Health and Parks and Recreation Departments to combat childhood obesity.
  • Community-related sleep health issues with public health implications impacting Virginians (this work includes forging partnerships and collaborations with community based organizations such as the Virginia Academy of Sleep Medicine and SLEEP: Start Later for Excellence in Education Proposal).
  • A suicide prevention project that focuses on improving suicide risk assessment and prevention practices (this project is part of an ongoing grant with the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth).
  • Cultural competency training project for military sexual assault victims advocates (in partnership with the Norfolk LGBT Life Center).