Women and Their Children’s Health Study (WaTCH)

The Women and Their Children’s Health (WaTCH) study is a collaboration between the LSU Health Sciences Center and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. We are researching the short- and long-term physical, mental, and community health effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on women and children. 2600 women and 600 children from Southeastern Louisiana are participating in this study. Up to now, very little research has been done to study the long-term health effects of oil spills, and currently, no other local organization is studying the physical and mental health of such a large group of women and their children in Louisiana.

Click here to go to the WaTCH Website

The WaTCH study wants to know:

  • What makes people and communities resilient (able to bounce back from hardships)
  • Ways to improve communities’ ability to recover from disasters in the future
  • Mechanisms of exposure to oil spills
  • Physical and emotional health effects (like problems with breathing, rashes, headaches, depression, etc.)
  • Effects of the oil spill on children’s development and well-being, and how parents and the community can help children cope

Deepwater Horizon Research Consortium

The WaTCH study is a member of the Deepwater Horizon Research Consortium. The Consortium identify personal and community health effects from the DWH oil spill and help identify ways to improve communities’ ability to recover from future disasters. Each of these partnerships focuses on a different aspect of the Gulf oil spill, such as the effects of the spill on the mental and physical health of mothers and children, or its impact on those who fish for a living or consume large amounts of seafood. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has funded the Deepwater Horizon Research Consortium, a network of community and university partnerships to conduct this important research in the Gulf region.

For information about the spill, view a presentation by Dr. Edward Trapido, WaTCH Principal Investigator: Oil_Spill_Presentation (.pdf)

For information about the study, check out our website or contact us:

Study Line (Toll Free): 833-814-1800.


Edward S. Peters, DMD, SM, ScD.
Department Chair and Professor, Epidemiology
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health
epeters@unmc.edu, 402-559-4248
Ariane Rung, MPH, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Epidemiology
LSUHSC School of Public Health
Edward J. Trapido, ScD, FACE
Interim Dean and Professor, Epidemiology
LSUHSC School of Public Health
Nicole Nugent, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Human Behavior
Alpert Brown Medical School
Alicia K. Smith, PhD
Professor, Gynecology and Obstetrics
Emory University School of Medicine