Cynthia Persily, PhD


Completed Projects - (4)

Environmental Workforce Characteristics in the Rural Public Health Sector
Environmental risks to rural populations are understudied relative to urban areas despite increasing recognition that rural populations are potentially exposed to these risks from agricultural, mining, industrial or other sources. This project analyzes the environmental workforce characteristics of the rural public health sector to inform policy relative to coordination of rural environmental health services.
Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Public health
Key Environmental Competencies for Rural Primary Care Providers
This study will develop, from existing single discipline standards, a competency guide that will address competencies that are essential for providing environmentally conscious care. The study will then systematically evaluate content validity, completeness and clarity of the competencies.
Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Public health
Promotion and Protection of Rural Miner Health: Are the Resources in Place?
Miners are exposed to various potentially harmful agents and dangerous work conditions, and may have difficulty accessing care in some rural settings. The study aims to 1) Locate and map mining communities in the US and rural safety net providers (RHCs, FQHCs and Critical Access Hospitals) in those communities; and 2) Identify environmental health competencies (specifically related to miner health) in rural primary care providers practicing in identified mining communities.
Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Health services, Public health
Rural H1N1 Experience
This project aims to describe the rural H1N1 experience, including comparisons of rural vs. urban H1N1 vaccination rates, and describe rural H1N1 incidence, care patterns, and mortality. Additionally, through key stakeholder interviews, we will describe the rural needs in decisions relative to H1N1 vaccine distribution.
Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
Topic: Public health

Publications - (8)

  • Agricultural Health Training for Rural America
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2013

    Locates agricultural health programs and courses and describes collaborations that exist between clinicians and agriculture-related agencies.

    Areas in need of improvement include the following:

    • Provision of additional continuing education for practicing physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners
    • Provision of time and funding for primary care providers for continuing education in agricultural health related topics
    • Evaluation of methods to adjust the health care delivery model to the needs of the agricultural community
    • Enhancement of linkages and coordination of activities between health care professionals and public agencies in occupational and agricultural domains
  • Environmental Workforce Characteristics in the Rural Public Health Sector
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2011

    This project analyzed the environmental workforce characteristics of the rural public health sector to inform policy relative to coordination of rural environmental health services. Environmental risks to rural populations are understudied relative to urban areas despite increasing recognition that rural populations are potentially exposed to these risks from agricultural, mining, industrial or other sources. These environmental risks and associated health problems carry corresponding implications for public health programs and services, and highlight the need for a rural public health workforce that includes appropriate environmental health specialists.

  • Environmental Workforce Characteristics in the Rural Public Health Sector (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2011
    This project analyzed the environmental workforce characteristics of the rural public health sector to inform policy relative to coordination of rural environmental health services. Environmental risks to rural populations are understudied relative to urban areas despite increasing recognition that rural populations are potentially exposed to these risks from agricultural, mining, industrial, or other sources. These environmental risks and associated health problems carry corresponding implications for public health programs and services, and highlight the need for a rural public health workforce that includes appropriate environmental health specialists.
  • Key Environmental Health Competencies for Rural Primary Care Providers
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2010

    Providing health care that considers environmental determinants of health, environmental impact on health, and outcomes attributed to environmental issues is complex due to the need for providers to be competent not only in social and health sciences, but also in environmental health concepts.

  • Key Environmental Health Competencies for Rural Primary Care Providers (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2010
    The purpose of this study was to develop a set of basic environmental health competencies that are needed by all rural primary care providers to direct health care and education policy.
  • Promotion and Protection of Rural Miner Health: Are the Resources in Place? (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2013
    Reports that mining areas in the U.S., compared to non-mining areas, have on average better supplies of safety net providers, hospitals, and practicing primary care physicians. However, the study results support the need to examine the availability of safety net provider types in selected geographic areas where mining takes place.
  • Rates of Black Lung Disease in Relationship to Black Lung Treatment Centers (Full Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2013
    Investigates the rates of black lung disease among active miners in relationship to the location of Black Lung Clinics.
  • The Rural H1N1 Experience: Lessons Learned for Future Pandemics
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2013
    Describes the rural H1N1 experience including comparisons of rural vs. urban H1N1 vaccination rates and describes rural H1N1 incidence, care patterns and mortality.