Dr. Carmen M. Vélez-Vega, co-director of the PROTECT Community Engagement Core, has been appointed to the EPA’s Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee (CHPAC). The CHPAC consists of researchers, academics, healthcare providers, environmentalists, and members of the public who advise EPA on regulations, research initiatives, and communications regarding children’s health. The committee meets two or three times a year to advise the EPA administrator on these issues.
Throughout her career, Dr. Vélez-Vega has been dedicated to children’s health and environmental issues. With PROTECT, CRECE, and ECHO Dr. Vélez-Vega took an active role in advocating and educating community members and healthcare providers about the Zika virus and potential birth defects in 2016. After Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, Dr. Vélez-Vega spearheaded efforts to provide emergency supplies to community members, particularly to families with young children. She has also been instrumental in development of the PROTECT Report Back App, which provides PROTECT participants with information on their results and how to reduce exposures to common chemicals.
Dr. Vélez-Vega joins PROTECT co-director Dr. José Cordero on the CHPAC, and follows CRECE pediatrician Dr. Gredia Huerta-Montanez who finished her six-year appointment on the committee this year. We are very pleased PROTECT, CRECE, and ECHO team members are involved in this important children’s health work.