Community Advisory Board

Community Advisory Board

The GC-CPEH Community Engagement Core Community Advisory Board (CAB) is comprised of environmental health partners. The role of our CAB is to review progress on projects, identify new concerns, and help prioritize the CEC action agenda.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the ways in which we correspond with our CAB, with the great majority requesting that a face-to-face meeting be deferred until signs of any surge activity have ceased.  We have, however, been in contact through email and via phone to seek their assistance, particularly with COVID-19 activities in recent months.  Our CAB consists of community partners, each of whom provides a different “lens” to view environmental issues, including many with whom we have long-standing relationships.  We anticipate convening the community members of the CAB via Zoom in November for community members to meet and talk about their potential involvement and what their “offers and asks” are, to be followed by a more formal meeting (based on their input) with the Center leadership, to be held in winter 2020.  

GC-CPEH CAB Members:

  1. Dr. Elena Craft, Associate Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Climate and Health
  2. Jennifer Thickitt, Air Program Manager and Lead Risk Assessor, Galveston County Health District- Environmental Public Health
  3. Ms. Jackie Young-Medcalf, Texas Health and Environmental Alliance – Environmental Health (TEHA)- Community Environmental Issue
  4. Dr. John Hall, Former Director at TCEQ, Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) – Community Environmental Issues
  5. Dr. Mark Winter, Pharmacologist and Toxicologist, SouthEast Texas Poison Center – Disaster Response and Public Health
  6. Rev. David Begany, Pastor, Holy Family Catholic Church, Baytown – Faith-based Community Outreach
  7. Cornelius Blackshear, VA (formerly Mission United)- Veterans Issues and Programs
  8. Mr. Robert Dembo III, Mayor’s Office of Veterans and Military Affairs-Veterans Issues and Programs
  9.  Ms. Sasha Francis, Gulf of Mexico ecosystem volunteer – Water Quality
  10. Mr. Hilton Kelley, Community In-Power and Development Association Inc., Port Arthur – Environmental and Social Justice
  11. Mr. Mike Mastrangelo, The University of Texas Medical Branch – Disaster Response, Regional Preparedness, Healthcare Systems
  12. Ms. Jennifer M. Hadayia, Executive Director, Air Alliance Houston – Air Quality and Policy
  13. Mr. John Smith, Combined Arms – Veterans Issues and Programs

Environmental Justice Encuentro

The CEC is planning a series of mini-Encuentros in our target neighborhoods (with the option to join remotely) with the assistance of local EJ organizations to discuss disparities in health and issues of EJ and social justice. The Encuentros will provide the venue for discussions of disparities and inequities not only defined by race and ethnicity but in the context of all social determinants of health.  From neighborhood perspectives, we will identify issues, and where possible, determine priorities, and suggested solutions. This is intended to be an opportunity to hear many voices and many opinions and COVID-19 is expected to be an important topic.  We will also introduce the concept of Community Science Workshops to bring together university and community partners focused on understanding and addressing environmental health concerns through shared research.  These meetings, along with the informal CAB meeting, will help us to prepare for the more formal CAB meeting with the Center leadership.


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“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P30ES030285. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”