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Open Access A network of Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs): Filling a critical gap in the health care system

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A network of pediatric environmental health specialty units (PEHSUs) in the United States was formed in 1998 out of a recognized need for clinical expertise in children’s environmental health. Documented trends in a rise of pediatric diseases caused or exacerbated by environmental conditions, coupled with the failure of medical schools and residency programs to cover these issues in a significant way, leaves health care providers, parents, communities, and governments at a loss for this specialized knowledge. The PEHSUs fill this gap by providing: 1) medical education, 2) general outreach and communications, and 3) consultative services to communities and health care professionals. This paper presents examples of key situations where PEHSU involvement was instrumental in improved patient outcomes or advancing clinical expertise in children’s environmental health. Challenges and opportunities for future directions for the program are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of California San Francisco, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit 2: University of Washington, Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit 3: University of Washington, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences 4: University of Utah, Department of Internal Medicine

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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