On Saturday, September 24th, CRECE and PROTECT leaders Dr. Emily Zimmerman and Dr. Phil Brown presented at the Early Intervention Speech-Language Pathologist Continuing Education Symposium. The event was held at Northeastern University and was attended by more than fifty speech-language pathologists and students. At this symposium, Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Brown also surveyed those in attendance before and after the presentation.
The goal of the presentation was to educate audience members about the effects environmental toxins can have on early childhood development (both pre- and postnatally) and to give speech-language pathologists working in early intervention the tools to share this information with patients’ families. However, Dr. Brown and Dr. Zimmerman had additional goals of their own; The CRECE/PROTECT leaders also wanted to attain a better understanding of the knowledge level speech-language pathologists in the audience had of the subject matter.
To achieve this goal, Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Brown collected pre- and post-event tests to assess audience knowledge of environmental toxins and health outcomes before and after the presentation. The data gathered from these surveys will be presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association‘s National Conference (Nov 17-19) and the NIEHS Environmental Health Science FEST (Dec 5th-8th).
Dr. Zimmerman and Dr. Brown hope that their efforts will allow CRECE and PROTECT to gain insight into the level of knowledge the average health care provider currently has of environmental health issues and to gain insight into the impact educational programming can have on this level of knowledge. Ultimately, the teams hope to use this data to more effectively target community awareness-raising efforts. The teams have begun planning to host a similar event for healthcare providers in Puerto Rico.