PROTECT Study Participants Get Involved

Participant Nurses

PROTECT is excited to announce the incorporation of former cohort participants Abril Burgos, Jayrin Rosa and Joanabeth Maisonet as support staff in Core C. Abril, Joana and Jayrin live in the northern karst area of Puerto Rico and participated in PROTECT during their previous pregnancies. They are mothers of three beautiful children, one of whom was premature at 34 weeks.

Jayrin believes that “being part of PROTECT is a great opportunity for me. I live in a neighborhood which is very close to factories and this is a health threat for us. As a PROTECT staff member I am able to help pregnant women get more knowledge of potential contaminants that could affect their health and their babies and this means a lot to me.” Abril added “my family has been exposed to contaminants in my community for many generations and we have seen the health effects of such exposures. By working with PROTECT at our local community clinic I have the opportunity of engaging my community in our activities and to raise awareness of the environmental threats we face every day. Having a premature baby is very hard on my family, since she was born she has suffered from frequent respiratory infections and other conditions that affect her wellbeing.”

Joana wants to “share the research findings with my community and nearby areas so they can be proactive and advocate to reduce exposures. Our children and families deserve to live in an area that is not so contaminated. Things need to change for the better and PROTECT is helping the communities by doing research on our environmental health threats”. Their insights with regards to the report back process will contribute to creating more culturally sensitive information for the participants in their communities. ¡Bienvenidas al equipo PROTECT! (Welcome to team PROTECT).