New project to work with rural Sierra clinics on environmental exposure

The Sierra Fund is pleased to announce the receipt of a $10,000 grant to work with rural Sierra clinics to help evaluate environmental exposure.  Funded by a grant from the California Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Justice Small Grants Program this project includes collaboration with the CSU, Chico School of Nursing and graduate student nurses pursuing continuing education. 

CSUC Professor Becky Damazo, working with TSF’s Mining Initiative medical advisors, has developed an environmental health history form that will be administered by trained graduate student nurses in the clinic waiting room setting.  The results of this survey will provide key information on environmental health exposures in the Sierra, and will be a catalyst if necessary for a Sierra-wide study on the human health effects of mining toxins.  The survey can also be adopted by other clinics throughout the region, so we will establish a good protocol for its administration. 

This pilot project will be focused primarily in three communities in Yuba, Nevada and Butte Counties with clinics serving Sierra residents, including those most prone to exposure.  Another goal of the project is to increase awareness of clinic personnel, local decision makers, and local health officials including Public and Environmental Health Officers, all of whom will help establish the capacity of the community to inform and respond to the public.  We will also provide information to and get surveys directly from the public via outreach at health fairs, through media outlets, and community meetings. 

For more information about this project, please contact Mike Thornton, TSF Mining Project Organizer at mike.thornton @