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EPA supports efforts to expand the integration of environmental health in to health care provider education and practice. The public looks more and more to their primary health care providers to provide environmental health information, including diagnosis, treatment, and counseling on prevention strategies. However, many providers are often not equipped with the specific knowledge needed to effectively assist their patients in addressing environmental health issues. Many federal agencies are engaged in developing partnerships with the health care community to integrate their agency's environmental health messages into educational and practice settings.
Rocky Mountain Region Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit
The Rocky Mountain Region PEHSU is a joint collaboration of Denver Health, National Jewish Medical and Research Center and the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. The RMR PEHSU serves the children of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and 27 Tribal nations. RMR PEHSU is funded by a grant from the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) through funding from the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry).
The RMR PEHSU has a toll-free, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week hotline designed for parents, kids, teachers and care providers. Callers can ask questions on environmental health concerns such as lead and other heavy metals, pesticides, diesel exhaust, molds and bacteria. Calls to the hotline are answered by nurses and pharmacists trained to evaluate environmental hazards. They ask callers a series of questions about suspected exposures and symptoms to help evaluate the potential hazard. They can then offer preliminary advice and education to callers and send their environmental exposure assessments to the expert panel of PEHSU physicians, who can offer further advice and physician referrals if necessary. The toll-free phone number for the Rocky Mountain PEHSU is 1-877-800-5554.
Online Resources for Health Care Providers
EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection has developed a list of resources for health care providers free-of-charge online. It includes information on the following topics in pediatric environmental health: General Information, Air Quality Asthma, Lead, Mercury, Mold, Pesticides, Water.
To access this information please visit the Office of Children's Health Protection's Web site.