All Projects

What illnesses are linked to drinking water in Choctaw and Cherokee Nations?

Supporting the Waterborne Infection Risk Evaluation (WIRE) long-term study of the Choctaw and Cherokee Nations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that 7+ million Americans get sick every year from diseases spread through water. CDC also notes that waterborne diseases are responsible for many different types of illnesses, including respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal illnesses, just to name a few.

The purpose of this research study is to better understand which illnesses the Tribal members of the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations have been exposed to as a result of drinking water. This study encompasses Cherokee Tribal members, as well as Choctaw Tribal members living in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6: the states of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

 Westat is supporting the EPA in this research.

Westat set up all equipment, supplies, and promotional materials needed for in-person data collection. We then conducted in-person enrollment, baseline saliva sample collection, and administered participant questionnaires at Cherokee Nation and Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festivals. 

Westat produced saliva sampling kits and distributed kits to participants for follow-up samples, which were self-collected and mailed to the EPA laboratory.  

In 2020, due to COVID-19 concerns, participants were recruited remotely from counties of the Choctaw Nation. Westat mailed sample collection kits and questionnaires to participants, staffed a helpline to assist participants, and tracked return of samples to the EPA laboratory.

This research will provide knowledge about exposure to pathogens through drinking water sources. The goal is to ensure that the most effective and efficient methods are developed to identify, detect, and inactivate/remove pathogens that may be present in our drinking water supplies.

Want to work with us?
You’ll be in great company.

About Us Careers

Westat Employees.
Westat Employee.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
DC Public Schools
Georgia Department of Transportation
Internal Revenue Service
Leadership Montgomery
Maryland Cancer Registry
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
National Science Foundation
NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
SiriusXM
Social Security Administration
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Teach for America
Texas Education Agency
The Johns Hopkins University
The National Institutes of Health
The Verizon Foundation
Toyota
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
University of Michigan
University System of Maryland
Explore Our Clients

Please wait...

Forbes 2021 The Best Employers for Women Powered by StatistaForbes 2021 The Best Employers for Diversity Powered by StatistaForbes 2021: America's Best Midsize Employer Powered by Statista

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law. Notices to Employees & Applicants.