In 2021, the Long Island Chapter of the New York State Children’s Environmental Health Centers (NYSCHECK) created the Wyandanch Community Advisory Board (CAB) to identify and address the community health needs of regional children and youth.
In coming months, the CAB will provide guidance to:
- Identify local environmental hazards and community health resources.
- Review strategies to reduce exposures to hazards and expand access to health resources.
- Work with public health officials to reduce or eliminate sources of known pollution.
Wyandanch is a hamlet in the Town of Babylon in Suffolk County, New York, United States.
Here is a video which asks the question: Why are asthma rates in Wyandanch so much higher than in surrounding areas?
Initial community conversations in 2021 identified Wyandanch for its high rates of asthma and the need to monitor local air quality to better understand the causes of local respiratory illnesses.
Those conversations also demonstrated a strong community commitment to tackle local issues using a holistic “total wellness” health model. This offers an opportunity for a deeper rethinking of health in coming years that aligns community health, regional economics, and environmental quality.
“Build back better” is a science-based framework for community and environmental resilience. The impacts of COVID19 revealed many gaps and deficiencies in the national and regional public health system. Solutions should include small incremental reforms as well as more visionary efforts to rethink the future of community well being and quality of life. We hope that this CAB can contribute to both.