Colorado School of Public Health
Secondary Core Area
Neighborhood environments and health, risk assessment, environmental justice; community-based participatory research.
Ph.D. 2000 Johns Hopkins
Dr. Litt is an Associate Professor of Environmental Health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health in the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado at Denver and an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The focus of her research is on the relationship between chemical and physical hazards in the urban setting and community health with a specific interest in the relationship between community design and public health. Areas of research include community-based participatory research, environmental health policy, environmental epidemiology, urban planning, and the use of risk assessment and geographic information systems (GIS) to support community-based environmental decision-making.
Current projects include ‘Connecting Generations,’ an intervention designed to leverage the reach of school gardens by connecting young people and older adults through school gardens and related school programming. The Colorado Health Foundation supports this project. Additionally, through support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Litt and others are leading a national multi-site study entitled ‘Coalitions and Networks for Active Living (CANAL),’ which is evaluating what makes state and local collaboratives effective in promote environmental and policy changes for active living.
Past projects have included a study of housing conditions among immigrant families in Commerce City, Colorado. The study was funded by the US Department of Housing and Development and concluded in March, 2007 (see Miller et al., 2009; Litt et al., 2010; and DiGuiseppi et al., 2011 for study results). Another project involved the examination of the connections between community design and public health. This research was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Protection Research Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01). This five-year grant supported the study of an established community recreational activity, community gardening, for its potential to promote public health through increased physical activity, nutrition, social engagement, and cognitive stimulation with the long-term public health goals of disease prevention and health promotion (see Litt et al., 2011; Hale et al., 2011; Comstock et al., 2010 and Teig et al., 2009 for study results). Finally, Dr. Litt partnered with Johns Hopkins University to examine capacity and infrastructure issues related to environmental public health tracking at the state and national levels (see Litt et al., 2004 and Litt et al., 2007 for study results).