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What is PACE-EH?

Multnomah County PACE-EH is a growing coalition of individuals, community organizations, and local health officials who are committed to improving environmental health and environmental justice in our communities. Our goals are to:

  • Create and strengthen relationships among individuals and organizations concerned about environmental health and environmental justice.

  • Mobilize individuals and local organizations to take an active role in setting an environmental health and environmental justice agenda for their communities.

  • Involve communities in planning and decision making about local environmental health and environmental justice issues.

  • Integrate data-driven assessments of environmental health and environmental justice concerns with the values and perceptions of communities.

  • Promote leadership among environmental health and environmental justice advocates.

Multnomah County PACE-EH meets as a coalition four times a year and subcommittees meet once or twice monthly. Currently we are organizing communities in Inner North and Northeast Portland to participate in a PACE-EH environmental health and environmental justice assessment. Communities can learn more about environmental health and environmental justice, and create action plans based on their needs and values. Through this network, people can become part of the processes of decision making and determining the environmental health of their communities.

Click here to see a PowerPoint presentation on the vision, goals, and activities of the Coalition. (HTML version)

The PACE-EH process

Our process is based on a guidance tool developed by environmental health professionals around the county. The guide is called PACE-EH, which stands for Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health. In 1995, the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) created the guide to assist local health officials and concerned community members in a community-driven environmental health assessment. The PACE-EH process provides a mix of philosophy, practical guidance, and lessons from the field. Most importantly, it acknowledges that each community is unique, and encourages each PACE-EH site to shape the process to fill its needs.
PACE-EH walks participants through 13 interrelated tasks in a nonlinear, iterative, dynamic process. These tasks help communities and local health officials work together to identify environmental health issues in their communities, rank local environmental health concerns, and prioritize environmental health action plans.

Task 1: Determine community capacity
Task 2: Define and characterize the community
Task 3: Assemble a community-based environmental health assessment team
Task 4: Define the goals, objectives, and scope of the assessment
Task 5: Generate a list of community-specific environmental health issues
Task 6: Analyze the issues with a systems framework
Task 7: Develop locally appropriate indicators
Task 8: Select standards against which local status can be compared
Task 9: Create issue profiles
Task 10: Rank the issues
Task 11: Set priorities for action
Task 12: Develop an action plan
Task 13: Evaluate progress and plan for future

Follow these links for more information on NACCHO’s PACE-EH protocol:

Program Summary
PACE-EH description
CDC Programs in Brief

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