The Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion at the University of Connecticut promotes environmental health and health promotion-related teaching, research and public engagement. The major activities of the Center include addressing local, national and global environmental health and health promotion concerns. The vision of the Center is based on the belief that there is a reciprocal relationship between the environment and human health. The physical environment can impact individual and community health, especially upon exposed to toxic substances, irritants, infectious agents or physical hazards in homes, schools or at work. The physical environment also can promote good health by providing clean and safe places for people to work, exercise, eat, and play. With this understanding, the activities of the center include sponsoring conferences in environmental health, health promotion and wellness, epidemiology and disease surveillance, toxicology, and related laboratory sciences. The center will provide funding to support graduate students projects in the areas of environmental health or health promotion research. As noted in the US Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 report, lifestyle choices have significant impacts on chronic diseases. Thus, promoting healthy eating, tobacco avoidance and increased physical activity is of the utmost importance. We share the stated goal of thisinitiative "... to help individuals of all ages increase life expectancy and improve their quality of life by promoting lifestyle behavior and environment conducive to healthy life for all.”
Originally established in 1986 by a competitive grant award from the Connecticut Department of Higher Education under the Fund for Excellence Program, The Center for Environmental Health (Now the Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion; CEHHP) has continued to pursue its mission of teaching, research and community engagement to address the issues, problems and concerns of the people of Connecticut. The Center is committed to improving the quality of life for our citizens by enhancing the quality of the environment in which they live and has fostered an interdisciplinary approach to the resolution of environmental health problems.
In 2009, the CEH added Health Promotion to its name and mission, in part due to it's move to the Department of Allied Health Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR). As stated on the CDC's Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion website, "Chronic diseases – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis – are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S."
At the Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion (CEHHP), we bring together researchers to analyze the interaction between human behavior and the environment. We strive to identify health resources and constraints in various environmental settings and how they contribute to the development of chronic diseases. We promote developing interventions that integrate health behavior and lifestyle modification with environmental alterations, which is essential in improving human health and reducing the rate and prevalence of chronic diseases.