Community health assessment

In this project, investigators are conducting community environmental health assessments. ​


Drs. Loren Saulsberry and Brisa Aschebrook-Kilfoy are leading an investigation in a subset of COMPASS participants to assess broad environmental health concerns, which merit greater attention given their impact on high risk populations and how imperative they are to addressing the full range of health care and social needs for these communities. The research project leverages CDC’s established Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health (PACE EH), which is a community involvement tool designed to identify health concerns and develop an action plan to address environmental health problems in efforts to improve population health.

In addition, the project will utilize the CACHET biomarkers core to directly assess exposure to the environmental chemicals of key concern for COMPASS participants.


In this study, the research team will evaluate whether there might be particular environmental toxins associated with poor health outcomes and health inequities that are not currently being monitored in certain neighborhoods as well as whether the environmental health issues reported as the greatest source of community burden are reflected in the environmental pollutants routinely measured by public health agencies.

This research will shed light on the biological, social and economic underpinnings between relevant urban environmental exposures and human disease as well as translate those findings to reduce health inequities within the participating communities.


Brisa Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD

Brisa Aschebrook-Kilfoy, PhD

Dr. Brisa Aschebrook-Kilfoy is a chronic disease and environmental epidemiologist whose research focus is to elucidate the role of environmental, molecular, and genetic factors in the development of cancer and chronic disease in population studies.

She serves as the scientific director for multiple cohort studies in the IPPH and oversees a large research staff. She also co-directs a recruitment core and an integrated health sciences core with expertise in environmental monitoring in Chicago.

Loren Saulsberry, PhD

Loren Saulsberry, PhD

Dr. Loren Saulsberry is a health policy and health services researcher focusing on factors that influence both public opinion and behaviors vital to public health.

Dr. Saulsberry’s research interests include (1) health care policies and health services that affect cancer care across the continuum from prevention and early detection to cancer outcomes, (2) the relationships between politics and health communication on health policy issues, (3) the determinants contributing to health disparities affecting vulnerable populations, especially across race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.