Dr. Jacqueline MacDonald Gibson, chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington (SPH-B), will deliver the keynote address for this year's "Break the Cycle of Children's Environmental Health Disparities" conference. Also presenting are graduate student Alyson Alde and postdoctoral fellow Michelle Del Rio.
Dr. MacDonald Gibson's keynote address, "Disparities in Access to Safe Drinking Water in the United States," draws on her years of experience as an environmental impact researcher. She notes that this is a "highly competitive conference," which makes it a "great honor" to be invited to participate. She adds that Alde and Dr. Del Rio "have worked together since fall of 2021 to conduct original research related to eliminating inequities in children’s health around the globe."
Alde's presentation, "Water Infrastructure to Improve Childhood Health and Decrease Childhood Lead Exposure," includes research from her thesis that provides insight into the blood lead levels of children whose drinking water comes from private wells. Alde will receive her master's degree in environmental and occupational health in May 2022.
Dr. Del Rio's presentation, "Factors and Inequities of Lead (Pb) Exposure in U.S. Children," is described as "a systematic literature review" that focuses on "risk and protective factors (social, economic, and environmental factors) of childhood lead poisoning for U.S. children."
"It has been an extraordinary experience and privilege to participate in the Break the Cycle Program because we get one-to-one mentorship from leading experts in children’s environmental health and the opportunity to learn the best strategies for reducing health disparities in our current and future research," Dr. Del Rio says. "I will carry the knowledge gained and connections made in this program throughout my scientific career."
"Throughout my career as an obstetrician, I utilized evidenced based-medicine as it related to decreasing preterm delivery," says Dr. Philip N. Eskew, Jr., an IU alumnus and former member of the IU Board of Trustees. "This included encouraging women to stop drinking alcohol and smoking, limiting caffeine intake, and to exercise during their pregnancy. Similarly, this conference will delve into current research focused on prenatal exposures to environmental aeroallergens, chemical exposures, and contaminated water with their impact on prenatal and childhood growth and development."