Assessing the Oil Spill’s Health, Social, and Community Economic Impacts

The purpose of this study is to assess the health, social, and health-economic impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on communities in the Gulf of Mexico.

Activities to Date

A worker cleans up oily waste on Elmer's Island, just west of Grand Isle, La., May 21, 2010. Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley/Flickr

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Patrick Kelley/FlickrA worker cleans up oily waste on Elmer’s Island, just west of Grand Isle, Louisiana

Health subteam members began their work by conducting a systematic review of what had been published on the health effects of oil spills in the past. Researchers sorted through more than 1,000 academic journal articles to identify just over 100 that were directly related to the current study; from these they created a dynamic, searchable database of the literature to date. This literature review, coupled with a theoretical perspective on community resilience, served as the foundation to determine the content that would be included in the 20-30 minute, telephone-based health survey that CRGC plans to administer to 2,500 residents along the coast in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The survey instrument has been finalized and includes topics on residents’ current health status, perspectives on the effect of the spill on their community, the sources of information from which they receive news about their region and their trust in these sources, and their use of health and other social services in the community. The survey will be administered in the fall and winter of 2015-2016. Map of the Gulf States region

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Planning for Resilient Communities: Coastal Louisiana Leaders Gather to Kick-Off Executive Leadership Training

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Matthew R. Lee, Ph.D.

Professor and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor

Louisiana State University

Matthew Lee

Matthew R. Lee is a professor of sociology and senior associate vice chancellor of the Office of Research and Economic Development at Louisiana State University. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of criminal violence and public health. Lee also is co-founder and co-coordinator of CAPER, the Crime and Policy Evaluation Research group at LSU.


Rajeev Ramchand, Ph.D.

Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist

RAND Corporation

Rajeev Ramchand

Rajeev Ramchand is a senior behavioral and social scientist at the RAND Corporation. His research focuses on four areas: (1) psychosocial risk factors for adolescent delinquency (e.g., substance use, criminal offending); (2) consequences of substance use from both criminal justice and treatment perspectives; (3) the epidemiology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring conditions; and (4) the mental health of servicemembers, particularly those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Graduate Student

Vanessa Parks

Graduate Student and Research Assistant

Louisiana State University

Vanessa Parks

Vanessa Parks is a graduate student and research assistant at Louisiana State University. Her research interests include disaster resilience, health disparities, environmental sociology, and community development. She specializes in interdisciplinary health research, and she has participated in a number of needs assessments in vulnerable communities and several program evaluations related to health and education policies.