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The Health Observances and Public Education (HOPE) Partnership

Goals & Objectives | Project Partners | Health Observances | Focus Groups | Action Mechanisms | Partner Info (password required) |
| Asthma & Allergy HOPs |
Asthma & Allergy Resources |

The HOPE Partnership is a nationwide public health science education project designed to enhance the general public's scientific literacy and to improve public understanding of the biomedical and health-related sciences and the impact of research on human health.

This five-year innovative public health science education project, supported by a Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health [Grant No. R25 RR018490]. This SEPA project, awarded in October of 2003, proposes to develop and disseminate materials for public health observance events for lead poisoning awareness, asthma and allergies, and cancer research. The organizational teleconferences were in November 2003 with an organizational meeting in February of 2004.

Goals & Objectives

Goal #1: Improve Public understanding of the biomedical and health-related sciences through the development of public health science education materials.

  • Active network of eight universities will provide public health education programs
  • Needs assessment will be conducted through focus groups nationwide to determine the public's understanding of biomedical and health-related research
  • Public health science education materials will be identified and/or developed for three national health observances

Goal #2: Determine the most effective methods for improving public understanding of the biomedical and health-related sciences, utilizing six action mechanisms.

  • Action mechanisms will be developed to disseminate public health science education materials to the target audiences (middle & high school teachers/students, general public)
  • Evaluation assessing the effectiveness of each action mechanism will be completed


Asthma & Allergy Health Observance Packages (HOPs)

Asthma & Allergy Resources
explore this section to find variety of publications and other resources found on print and on the web.

Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) Puffer's Kingdom! - Puffer's Asthma Program

Action Mechanisms
Six methods of information dissemination are being used to distribute health information to target audiences thru the Health Observance Packages (HOPs).

* Community Forum Action Mechanism - Reach out to the Public
Target Audience: General Public
The goal is to create avenues through which the public can gain information about current research and increase their scientific literacy, while offering scientists the opportunity to learn, first-hand, about the concerns and interests of the public.

* Formal Education Action Mechanism
Target Audience: Middle/High School Teachers and Students
The goals are to enhance students’ and teachers’ scientific literacy through curricular materials and teacher trainings focusing on current research and its impact on health, with special emphasis on increasing interest in scientific careers.

Informal Education Action Mechanism-Train the Trainer to create curriculum
Target Audience: Boys and Girls Clubs, Science Centers
The goal is to increase students’ and teachers’ scientific literacy, focusing on current research and its impact on health, through such avenues as science fairs and student presentations, with special emphasis on increasing interest in scientific careers.

* Media Action Mechanism
Target Audience: General Public
The goals are to use diverse media outlets to reach and inspire new audiences in regards to scientific literacy, focusing on current research and its impact on health, while enhancing journalist’s access to quality scientific resources.

* Non-Profit Organization Event Action Mechanism
Target Audience: General Public
The goal is to work at events developed by non-profit organizations to celebrate a health observance, providing materials to enhance public understanding of the role of biomedical and health-related research on human health.

* Science Centers/Museums Action Mechanism
Target Audience: Middle/ High School Students
The goal is to promote science learning, to young people and to the general public, focusing on current research and its impact on heath, through exhibiting student research posters.


Health Observances

The HOPE project partners will develop educational materials based on three established national health observances: Cancer Control Month, Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month, and Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The UA COEP will study mainly about allergies and asthma, as they are major health issues in the Southwest region. This is a multi-tiered process, including identifying existing materials and creating new appropriate lessons and activities will be used.

Pilot-testing will occur prior to widespread implementation Then they will be shared with the public through such avenues as community events, school projects, the media and science centers/children’s museums.


Project Partners

Eight universities from around the nation are participating in this project to help raise public awareness as to how health-related research is contributing to the prevention, detection and/or treatment of diseases and illnesses.

  • Oregon State University
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vanderbilt University

The UA COEP has partnered with Andrea M. Hricko (COEP Director at the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center & Children's Environmental Health Center, USC) to develop the asthma and allergies portion of this project, and will make use of the expertise of the investigators in the Pulmonary Toxicology and Lung Disease Research Core (RC2) of the SWEHSC.


Focus Groups

The purpose of the focus group is to find out the public’s opinions about health-related research and its impact on health. This focus group is a critical component of the HOPE Partnership initiative. Focus groups are being conducted nationwide among members of the general public, as well as middle and high school teachers and students. Focus groups will help us determine public understanding of health-related science. With this information, we will be able to develop educational materials or the information packages that may be used nationwide to enhance the public’s scientific literacy.

From the information gathered during the focus groups we will gain an understanding of the target audiences’ knowledge and perceptions about bio medical and health related research and its impact on human health. We will also explore methods to increase scientific literacy among the target audiences.


Environmental Health Science Center - COEP
Southwest Environemental Health Science Center - COEP
Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility
Southern California Environemental Health Science Center - COEP
MD Anderson Cancer Center - Uni of Texas
Center for Biology Education  - University of Wisconsin
Center for Molecular Toxicology - Vanderbilt University

Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, Room 244
PO Box 210207, Tucson, AZ, USA 85721-0207

Funded by NIEHS grant # ES06694

1996-2004, The University of Arizona
Last update: November 10, 2009
Page Content: Stephanie Nardei
Webmaster: Stephanie Nardei