Community Engagement Core
PI: Rae O'Leary, MPH, RN
The Community Engagement Core (CEC) of the Columbia University Northern Plains Superfund Research Program (CUNP-SRP) is a collaboration among Columbia University researchers, Missouri Breaks Industries Research, Inc. (a Native American-owned research firm), a Community Advisory Committee, and numerous local stakeholders striving to mitigate drinking water metal exposure and disease in rural tribal communities in the Northern Plains through community outreach and education. The CEC aims to decrease metal exposure and related disease in tribal communities using a bidirectional participatory approach that improves access to high-quality drinking water resources and promotes healthy traditional diets that improve nutritional status and can prevent cardiometabolic diseases. Central to this approach are the core values of equal participation in science and a commitment to safeguarding tribal sovereignty and the rights of citizens and communities, which are transferable to additional Superfund sites, the Superfund Research Program in general, and more broadly to improve public health.