Michael Hendryx, PhD


Completed Projects - (8)

  • Agricultural Health: Current Knowledge and Future Directions
    The health of rural populations is impacted by many factors, of which agricultural activities are one of the most important. Agriculture potentially impacts health through a variety of means, including exposures to pesticides and fertilizers, dust from fields or harvesting, accidents and injuries, or contaminants from animal feed lots including antibiotics, hormones or animal waste. There are also issues facing special populations such as migrant workers, and potential agricultural risks facing children and families of workers.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Environmental and agricultural health
  • Agricultural Medicine Training for Rural America
    The purpose of the research is to identify the availability and characteristics of agricultural medicine training opportunities for health care professionals. Agricultural workers and their families face numerous threats to health and safety, and yet there is limited information on health care expertise in place to recognize and prevent threats, and to diagnosis and treat agriculturally-related injury and illness.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Environmental and agricultural health
  • Childhood Asthma and Air Quality in Rural-Urban Areas
    This study will examine the prevalence of childhood asthma across urban and rural settings. We will examine how asthma may be related to measures of ambient air quality, as well as how asthma may be related to agricultural activity of different types, to proximity to metropolitan areas, and to measures of demographics and health care insurance.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children, Environmental and agricultural health
  • Community Health Workers in Rural America: What Models Work?
    Community health worker (CHW) models have been suggested as integral components of cost effective strategies to address the health and social needs of underserved communities, and are included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This study proposes to examine rural CHW programs to evaluate commonalities among successful models to inform future policy direction in this area.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Public health
  • Recent Rates of Black Lung Disease in Relation to Black Lung Treatment Centers
    Recent evidence indicates that black lung disease among coal miners, after a long period of declining incidence, has begun to increase. This increase is disturbing because safety standards, if adhered to faithfully, should be able to prevent most black lung disease from occurring. The reasons for the increase are not known, although evidence has revealed that the mines most likely to show increases are smaller coal mines located in some areas of central Appalachia, and there are concerns that safety regulations at these smaller mines may not be practiced with complete fidelity.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Public health
  • Rural Environmental Hazards Inventory and Associated Health Outcomes
    This study will create a national inventory of potential environmental hazards for rural populations. Population health outcomes such as CDC mortality statistics will be examined to determine if poor health outcomes are related to greater exposures to potential hazards.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Health promotion and disease prevention, Public health
  • Toxics Release Inventory Sites and Population Health across Rural and Urban Areas
    Previous research has identified higher mortality rates in rural areas in association with exposure to pollution sources. This study conducts mortality outcome analyses specific to discharges from Toxics Release Inventory sites across the spectrum of rural to urban settings.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Public health
  • Water Quality Issues in Rural-Urban Areas: The Good (Fluoridation), the Bad (Chemical Pollutants) and the Ugly (Health Consequences)
    This study will investigate the availability of fluoridated water across urban-rural settings, and relate measures of fluoride availability to survey measures of dental health. The study will also investigate rural population exposure to chemical pollutants in surface water by measuring volumes and types of discharges from EPA-recognized water pollution sources, including sources located in rural areas and in upstream urban areas, and relating these measures to population health outcomes.
    Research center: West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Environmental and agricultural health, Public health

Publications - (14)

  • 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
  • Childhood Asthma in Rural-Urban Areas
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2012

    Examines how asthma may be related to rural areas adjacent or non-adjacent to larger population centers, to variation in measures of air quality, to varying levels of agricultural and animal production, and to other characteristics such as obesity, race/ethnicity, or health insurance.

  • Childhood Asthma in Rural-Urban Areas (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2012
    Examines how asthma may be related to rural areas adjacent or non-adjacent to larger population centers, to variation in measures of air quality, to varying levels of agricultural and animal production, and to other characteristics such as obesity, race/ethnicity, or health insurance.
  • The Current State of Agricultural Health Research and Practice: Critical Review (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 09/2013
    Provides an overview of the present state of agricultural health research for health care policy makers and providers.
  • Pollution Sources and Mortality Rates across Rural-Urban Areas in the United States
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2010

    Rural counties contain more than 65,000 EPA-recognized point pollution sources. A greater density of water and air pollution sources in rural counties is associated with higher cancer mortality rates adjusting for other risks. Rural areas also experience mortality risks in association with coal mining activity.

  • Pollution Sources and Mortality Rates across Rural-Urban Areas in the United States (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2010
    Rural counties contain more than 65,000 EPA-recognized point pollution sources. A greater density of water and air pollution sources in rural counties is associated with higher cancer mortality rates adjusting for other risks. Rural areas also experience mortality risks in association with coal mining activity.
  • 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.
  • A Rural Socioeconomic Risk and Resiliency Inventory and Associated Health Outcomes (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2011
    Rural areas, especially in the Southeast, Appalachia and parts of the West, have worse VRI (Vulnerability and Resiliency Index) scores which are a measure of six socioeconomic indicators across counties in the United States.
  • A Rural Socioeconomic Vulnerability and Resiliency Index and Associated Health Outcomes
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2011

    Rural areas, especially in the Southeast, Appalachia and parts of the West, have worse VRI (Vulnerability and Resiliency Index) scores which are a measure of six socioeconomic indicators across counties in the United States. Better VRI scores were associated with better health outcomes (lower heart disease, cancer, and stroke death rates) across the rural-urban continuum. These analyses provide evidence to support the development of programs and policies that foster educational development, and economic diversity and vitality, as means of public health improvement, especially in rural areas in selected regions of the country.

  • Toxics Release Inventory Discharges and Population Health Outcomes in Rural and Urban Areas of the United States
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center

    Examined whether chemical releases from facilities monitored through the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program were associated with population mortality rates for both rural and urban populations.

  • Toxics Release Inventory Discharges and Population Health Outcomes in Rural and Urban Areas of the United States (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    The current study examines whether chemical releases from facilities monitored through the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program were associated with population mortality rates and birth outcomes for both rural and urban populations. We also examined whether rural and urban areas characterized by poor socioeconomic status or higher percentages of racial minorities had greater TRI releases. Health outcomes included age-adjusted CDC mortality rates for cancer, respiratory, cardiovascular, and total causes, and NCHS birth outcomes including low birth weight, preterm births and birth defects. Rural counties are defined as non-metropolitan based on rural-urban continuum codes. The results show significantly higher adjusted total mortality rates associated with greater air and water releases in both rural and urban counties, after controlling for the effects of other risk variables. Effects were found in rural areas for total, cardiovascular, and (marginally) cancer mortality outcomes. We found that counties with higher percentages of African American populations had more non-zero releases, but did not find this for populations characterized by greater Native American populations, lower income levels or higher poverty. We did not find consistent evidence for higher TRI releases being related to poorer birth outcomes. Suggestions for reducing emissions, further research to understand human health impacts, and improving rural health care are presented.
  • Water Fluoridation and Dental Health Indicators in Rural and Urban Areas of the United States
    Policy Brief
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2012

    Investigates the availability of fluoridated water across urban and rural settings.

  • Water Fluoridation and Dental Health Indicators in Rural and Urban Areas of the United States (Final Report)
    West Virginia Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2011
    This study investigated the availability of fluoridated water across urban-rural settings, and relates measures of fluoride availability to national survey measures of dental health in adults and children.