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Forums on the Health Impacts of Climate Change Set for June

The University of the Virgin Islands Caribbean Exploratory Research Center in conjunction with the Medical University of South Carolina will host community forums on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John about climate change health impacts. The forums will present Virgin Islands residents an opportunity to hear about six projects focusing on adapting to climate change health impacts that were undertaken by six community groups. The forums are scheduled as follows:

• St. John - 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, at the Guy H. Benjamin School, Coral Bay.
• St. Thomas - 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 29, at the University of the Virgin Islands Administration and Conference Center, Room 142-1A.
• St. Croix - 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at the University of the Virgin Islands Melvin Evans Center, Room 713.

Members from each community group will present the group's activities and outcomes at the forums. The focus of the projects is the reduction of the threat of dengue fever to the community and the changing environment that will support illnesses from vectors like mosquitoes. The forums are expected to last about two hours and the opportunity for questions and answers will be emphasized.

On St. Croix, members of Beyond Visions Foundation and Farmers in Action will make presentations on a video project about climate change and the clearing of a mosquito-breeding site, respectively. Members of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, the Environmental Association of St. Thomas-St. John (EAST), and We Grow Food, Inc. will make presentations on St. Thomas. Catholic Charities members will discuss its project of educating the homeless population on St. Thomas about dengue fever and ciguatera. EAST members will discuss a tree-planting project at Smith Bay Park. We Grow Food, Inc. members will discuss a mesh netting distribution project. On St. John, the Coral Bay Community Council members will make presentations about a campaign to educate students and church members about dengue fever and ciguatera.

The project was supported by the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. For further information contact Dr. LaVerne Ragster at lragste@live.uvi.edu or 340-643-6550 or Tessa Liburd at 340-693-1170 or tliburd@live.uvi.edu.