Urban Environmental Program in New England
2007 Healthy Communities Grant Program
The Healthy Communities Grant Program was launched in 2003 and integrates nine EPA New England programs – Urban Environmental Program, Smart Growth, Children's Environmental Health, Asthma, Community Air Toxics, Tools for Schools, Pesticides, Pollution Prevention and Toxics to combine available resources and best identify competitive projects that will achieve measurable environmental and public health results in communities across New England.
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (Bridgeport)
"Healthy Indoors/AIRS, Bridgeport"
Summary: The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ) is a nonprofit founded in 1998 with a mission to improve urban environmental health through education, promoting changes in policy and through individual, corporate and government responsibility towards protecting the environment. In 2006, CCEJ efforts were expanded to create the Fairfield County Environmental Justice Network to service the needs of residents in Bridgeport, CT. Bridgeport has nearly double the state average rate of asthma hospitalization and over twice the number of emergency room visits due to asthma attacks compared to the state average. This project proposes to address asthma and indoor environmental quality by educating local residents on asthma (signs, symptoms and triggers), conduct targeted home visits to assess risk, reduce exposure to health hazards, and build a safer and healthier indoor environments. This project relies on the design of the asthma indoor risk strategies (AIRS), a demonstrated program from the Department of Public Health which follows the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute guidelines for diagnosis and management of asthma. By applying proven methods, this project will reduce in-home exposure to toxics for families in Bridgeport that improve indoor health, the project will focus on asthma and reducing exposures to health hazards including mold, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, insecticides, and lead.
Measurable Results: Expected short term results for the project include: 60-70 families will be identified as candidates for home visits due to one member with physician-diagnosed asthma; 40 families will receive home visits every 6 months and follow up calls every 3 months; 90% of homes visited will report taking specific actions to improve the quality of indoor environments, and 100% of the 40 families visited will report improved management of health issues such as asthma, lead exposure and pesticide/household cleaners..
Partners: Bridgeport Asthma Council and Bridgeport Department of Healthy and Social Services.
The Children's Museum (West Hartford)
"Park River Assessment Program"
Summary: Founded in 1972, the Children's Museum is a non-profit institute that seeks to increase public understanding of science, mathematics, technology and the environment through exhibits and programs. The Park River Assessment Program project will work with community partners to initiate a community watershed enhancement program for the Park River Watershed which covers the urban areas of Hartford, New Britain and West Hartford. Preliminary data from the North and South branches of the Park River indicate moderate to severely impaired water quality and the proposed project invites family teams and community youth groups to adopt stream segments, monitor water quality, and conduct stream walks to assess in-stream and riparian conditions. The project will promote community awareness of the river, gather water quality data on all waterways in the project area, identify and photograph areas where improvements or restoration are needed, and engage families in collecting water quality data. Workshops will also be held to educate volunteers on the causes and effects of water pollution, provide training on stream walks, water quality monitoring sampling protocols, and sampling techniques. The Children's Museum will also work with partners and communities volunteers to organize improvement projects including river clean-ups, bank stabilization, wildlife habitat enhancement, plantings to reduce storm water flow and improve flood control, and others as needed.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Minimum of 15 families/youth groups recruited for participation; 50% of stream segments will be assessed; volunteers will receive technical support and be accompanied on 90% of stream walks and 100% of water quality monitoring activities; water quality data will be generated and analyzed to create GIS maps of the watershed; nine sites will be selected for improvement/restoration projects; and an additional 45 volunteer teams will be recruited in the second year.
Partners: Farmington River Watershed Association's Park River Watershed Revitalization Initiative
Ledge Light Health District (New London County)
"New London County Asthma Action Partnership"
Putting on AIRS is a home-based program that takes a clinical and sanitarian approach to demonstrate to the individual or parent the importance of addressing both the environment and medical/health components for optimal asthma management. The "New London County Asthma Action Partnership" will expand the "Putting on Airs" and EPA's Tools for Schools programs to reach the uninsured and those seen in hospital emergency rooms or those that have been admitted for asthma related complications. The project will address asthma in the county's most vulnerable populations and integrate the individual programs into one campaign. The program will include the target population of low-income children living with asthma in effective asthma management programs through schools, health care settings, and in-home assessments while strengthening and broadening the New London County Asthma Action Partnership (NLCAAP). The partnership will improve asthma self-regulation through coordination of medical care, patient education, and manipulation of the indoor environment. Through empowering individuals to take control of their chronic disease, the program will improve the general health and well being of those living with asthma, reduce emergency room visits and school/work absenteeism through vigorous disease management practices.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Established project in all 20 municipalities in New London County; Implementation of Putting on AIRS for 50; Sustained EPA Tools for Schools Program in all New London County schools; Reduction of environmental asthma triggers; improved self management and parental management of asthma; engaged school staff in recognizing signs and symptoms of asthma; AIRS data base for all assessment information; reduction in emergency department visits, asthma-related visits to physicians, and days of missed school or work due to asthma.
Partners: The New London county Asthma Action Partnership, Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH), Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), Uncas Health District, William W. Backus Hospital, Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, Child and Family Agency, Nurses from School Districts, and municipalities, Pulmonologists, Pediatricians, and Pharmacists; American Lung Association, Visiting Nurses Association, and Tribal Nations.
Connecticut Department of Public Health (Statewide)
"Building a Statewide Comprehensive, Sustaining Tools for Schools Program"
The Connecticut Department of Public Health's Environmental & Occupational Health Assessment Program will be expanding and solidifying their efforts to address school indoor air quality by implementing and sustaining EPA's Tools for Schools (TfS) in every Connecticut public school. This project will provide TfS training to a minimum of 100 schools, while expanding their efforts in the urban cities such as Stamford, Hartford, New Haven, and at least 4 of Connecticut Technical high schools. Other initiatives include training workshops for custodians in several districts, holding refresher courses for at least 25 schools which have been in the program the longest, and maintaining the Connecticut Tools for Schools website for students, staff, families, and administrators to use as a mentoring tool.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: A minimum of 130 school committees receive two-part training session for TfS teams, including shop-specific checklists for vocational schools; a Minimum of 25 schools receive refresher course and/or workshops for custodians; measurable evaluation data from at least 100 schools.
Partners: Connecticut Indoor Environment Resource Team. Members include: Connecticut Departments of Public Health, Education, and Environmental Protection; Connecticut Education Association; American Lung Association of Connecticut; University of Connecticut —School of Medicine; Yale University; Connecticut Department of Labor Occupational Safety program; Connecticut Parent Teacher Association; Connecticut Foundation for Environmentally Safe Schools)
Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries (Waterbury)
"Brass City Harvest"
Brass City Harvest is a multi-faceted program of sustainable urban agriculture in Waterbury's most blighted and economically depressed neighborhoods. Soil in the gardening lots have been identified as containing toxins such as lead, arsenic, chromium from the previous structures once located on the property, many of which were used for heavy industrial purposes. Additionally, the inner city agricultural producers and backyard gardeners lack practical knowledge and technical expertise as to the dangers that lurk in the soil and the methods to mitigate these soil dangers. The Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries will work to provide public education and outreach, soil testing, and the soil mitigation/encapsulation methods needed to restore the land and utilize current green space in an environmentally responsible and healthy manner. By providing this education, the quality of produce crown across the city will improve and the soil analysis results will give the local Health Department its first database of soil analysis in order to track toxic trends across Waterbury.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Soil testing/analysis in a minimum of 30 gardening lots; Multilingual education to at least 500 Waterbury residents; Creation of a soil analysis database for the city.
Partners: City of Waterbury/Waterbury Department of Public Health, Connecticut Agricultural Station, and the Connecticut Community Gardening Association
Consolidated School District – New Britain (New Britain)
"Improving Lead Education Materials, A Multilingual Approach"
While great strides have been made in reducing the incidents of childhood lead poisoning in the State of Connecticut, there remain continuing challenges to its elimination as a public health concern. The Consolidated School District – New Britain will take the existing printed lead poisoning awareness and prevention information from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health and have the literacy level reduced to 4th grade and then subsequently have the materials translated into Spanish, Polish, and Arabic to better service the target audience. School nurses, parent volunteer organizers, and high school students will be trained using these new materials and they will, in turn, work with elementary schools students, preschool students, parents, and the community.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Increased lead screening rate from 43% to 60%; Development of low-literacy lead education materials; Translation of education materials in Arabic, Spanish, and Polish; a minimum of 3 Parent Volunteer Organizers, 3 high school students, and 5 school nurses trained in lead poisoning signs/symptoms, awareness, screening, follow-up services, and city-based lead remediation programs.
Partners: City of New Britain Department of Public Health
City of Portland (Portland, Lewiston, & Bangor)
"Smoke Free Housing in Maine"
There are nearly 380,000 people who either rent units in multi-unit housing or own/manage a multi-unit building in the state of Maine. The Smoke-Free Housing Coalition of Maine, comprised of over fifty public health advocates, tenants, landlords, property managers, environmental health professional, is dedicated to reducing the number of residents in multi-units housing who are involuntarily exposed to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) through education, advocacy, and policy change. The coalition's "Smoke Free Housing in Maine" project will increase the percentage of public housing authorities who implement smoke-free policies in their housing units, work with major newspapers in the three largest urban areas of Maine to add a smoke-free icon to each of their smoke-free apartment listings to make identifying smoke-free properties easy for tenants, collaborate with housing departments at five of Maine's major universities to promote smoke-free housing, educate and empower students to advocate against ETS exposure in their rental units, implement the EPA Smoke-Free Homes Pledge Program with at least 3,000 families, create and distribute culturally appropriate, multilingual tenant fact sheet to at least 200 individuals in each of Maine's urban communities (Portland, Lewiston, and Bangor), and provide technical assistance to at least 25 tenants and 50 landlords throughout the state. The coalition will continue to build stronger communication lines with the public, broaden awareness, and further decrease the number of families exposed to ETS in multi-unit buildings.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Increased percentage of Maine housing authorities with smoke-free policies from 45% to 65%; Implementation of consistent and uniform apartments advertisements that meet specific criteria as smoke-free by including a smoke-free icon in each apartment classified ad in local newspapers; education to approximately 23,500 students on smoke-free housing, information on advocating for smoke-free housing; implementation of EPA's Smoke-Free Homes Pledge program with at least 3,000 families; creation and distribution of tenant fact sheet in Spanish, Vietnamese and Somali.
Partners: Smoke-Free Housing coalition of Maine, Maine Indoor Air Quality Council, Healthy Androscoggin, Partnership for A Tobacco-Free Maine, City of Portland Minority Health Program, Healthy Portland, Maine Coalition on Smoking or Health, Bangor Regional Partners for Health; and Partnership for a Healthy Community.
American Lung Association of Maine
"Maine Cool Communities"
Summary: The Maine Cool Communities project seeks to improve energy efficiency in schools through outreach and education efforts. The project will achieve this goal by hosting an energy efficiency workshop for school districts statewide. Planning and preparation for the workshop will include, 1) interviews with key individuals in the community to identify needs and opportunities around which the business case could be developed; 2) an inventory of energy efficiency measures already undertaken by schools in the community; 3) implementation of an outreach strategy to ensure that the desired audience is at the workshop; and 4) conducting 1-2 walkthrough energy audits if it determined that these audits could contribute effectively to the educational value of the workshop and its underlying goals and objectives.
Measurable Results: Expected results include the adoption of this project as an ongoing effort of the Maine Cool Communities team, sustained efforts to promote energy efficiency among schools, as well as the adoption of energy efficiency measures by multiple school districts in the state.
Partners: Maine Partners for Cool Communities which includes the Maine Chapters of the Sierra Club, Council of Churches, American Lung Association, Physicians of Social Responsibility, Public Utilities Commission, Maine Department of Environmental Protection, * the Maine Home Performance with Energy Star Pilot Program
The Consensus Building Institute (Cambridge)
"Cleaning Construction in Boston Area Communities"
Summary: Since 1993, the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) has worked with leaders, advocates, experts and communities in over 30 countries and 35 states to improve the way public and organizational decisions are made using innovative strategies and engaging diverse stakeholders. CBI is the administrative and fiscal manager of the Greater Boston Breathes Better (GB3) initiative which is a public-private partnership among government, private sector, institutions, and non-profit organizations to improve Boston's air quality by reducing air pollution and air toxics from transportation and construction sources. Since 2004, GB3 partners have leveraged more than $8 million in funds to equip over 1600 diesel vehicles in the Boston area with advanced pollution controls which have reduced emissions per vehicle between 20 and 90 percent. This project will work with existing partners to implement specifications and best practices for reducing diesel emissions around construction sites in the greater Boston area. Activities include writing and publishing outreach materials, providing technical support to partners including updated bid specifications, monitoring efforts, new technology updates and education and outreach to stakeholders. The project will also identify new community and institutional partners in the greater Boston and larger Massachusetts metropolitan areas and work with them to evaluate options for reducing diesel emissions around construction sites and strengthen existing collaborations for improved ambient air quality throughout New England.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: particulate emissions reductions of at least 5% from at least 40 diesel vehicles operating in the Great Boston area (through retrofits and cleaner fuels); adoption of diesel emissions reduction bid specifications by at least two GB3 partners; identification and engagement of one new urban partner city in the GB3 coalition; publication of successes in at least two industry or community publications; presentation on emissions reductions at 3 events; database of area stakeholders engaged in emissions reductions; 2-3 multi-stakeholder best practice and educational workshops on reducing emissions; 2 educational guides on "Act, Reduce: motivating institutions to reduce diesel construction emissions in your community" and "How to Institute the Greater Boston Breathes Better model in your City."
Center for Economic and Environmental Partnership, Boston Green Tourism (Boston)
"Improving Environmental Safety and Recycling in Boston Area Hotels"
Summary: Boston Green Tourism (BGT) is an organization that focuses on improving the environmental performance of the area's visitor industry by increasing recycling and reducing exposures to pesticides and toxic cleaning products in hotels in the Greater Boston area and throughout Massachusetts. Through education, outreach, and training the project will improve the capacity of hotels to reduce indoor environmental toxins, ultimately leading to healthier indoor environments in area hotels by reducing the use of pesticides and cleaners that contain toxic chemicals. The project will also increase the use of environmentally preferred cleaning products in hotels by offering a seminar on Integrated Pest Management (IPM), creating and distributing an IPM "how-to" document, and reducing solid waste in Boston area hotels by producing a resource guide for area hotels on waste reduction reuse and recycling.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Increased knowledge about green cleaning products and IPM techniques for 3,500 Boston-area hotel staff; Reduction of non-green cleaning products by 16,000 pounds annually; Reduction of pesticides by 800 pounds annually; Reduction in exposure of toxins for 1,200 employees and 960,000 hotel patrons per year; Increased recycling by 120,000 pounds per year.
Partners: Massachusetts Lodging Association
Alternatives for Community & Environment (Roxbury, Chelsea, & East Boston)
"Air Pollution Hot Spot Network"
Summary: Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) brings together youth and communities of color and lower-income to eradicated environmental racism and classism in order to achieve environmental justice in New England. ACE strengthens the social networks that are fundamental to a strong and healthy community. The "Air Pollution Hot Spot Network" seeks to develop and demonstrate methods for education and outreach to identify air pollution hot spots in Roxbury, Chelsea, and East Boston and reduce diesel vehicle emissions in these areas. The project will reduce vehicle idling, work with diesel fleet owners to retrofit diesel vehicles, work with the government to develop new policies to reduce emissions, reduce the volume of diesel pollution in the communities and prevent further polluting sources in hot spot areas where there are high volumes of traffic and/or concentration of diesel vehicles coinciding with large numbers of people and/or particularly sensitive populations. The project will bring together new constituencies to engage in the struggle to prevent or eliminate environmental risks to people's health. Through educating and engaging the youth to become leaders on environmental issues, ACE ensures the continuation of their efforts.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Reduced vehicle idling, collaborated efforts with diesel fleet owners, engage at least 22 youth to educate their communities about the impacts of automobile and diesel vehicle emissions, inform at least 400 residents about vehicle emissions, air quality, health, and measures to reduce emissions; educate at least 60 local businesses about ways they can help reduce vehicle and diesel pollution; Identification of vehicle pollution hotspots; Develop notification plans to inform community about air quality during the summer months; and creation of a toolkit of resources.
Partners: Chelsea Green Space and Recreation Committee (Green Space) and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH).
The Food Project (Dorchester)
"Cultivating Partnerships for Healthy Urban Soils & Communities"
Summary: Recent soil tests of 125 gardens in the Dudley Street neighborhood have demonstrated dangerous lead contamination levels in 80% of gardens. For the past ten years, The Food Project has promoted sustainable urban agriculture practices as ways to reduce the environmental and human health risks posed by lead-contaminated soil. The Food Project has recently joined 62 Boston-based organizations from nine different sectors in launching the "Boston Food and Fitness Collaborative" to make Boston "America's Healthiest City by 2015". Partnering with the Boston Public Health Commission and the Shirley Eustis House, The Food Project is building an Urban Learning Farm, a center of nourishment that will model safe, urban agriculture and directly provide Roxbury neighborhoods with fresh, locally-grown produce. This project will educate over 800 people in the techniques of safe, chemical-free urban agriculture. They will provide education around the health risks posed by exposed urban soils and maintain their high-production farmland in the Dudley Street neighborhood and the new Urban Learning Farm where they will continue work to promote healthy eating for city residents.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Education to 150 elementary school children and 60 youth; enhancement of the Urban Learning Farm site; 50 gardeners engaged in these issues; increased knowledge for 60 backyard gardeners; a published article in the Boston Bay State Banner newspaper; a radio announcement; Distribution of compost to 60 community members; Participation of 60 individuals and organizations in the 2008 "Build-A-Garden" program.
Partners: Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mosque for the Praising of Allah, Boston Public Health Commission, Shirley Eustis House Association, Emerson Elementary School, Wellesley College, Haley House.
Lowell Parks & Conservation (Lowell)
"Concord River Greenway, Phase II"
Summary: The Concord River Greenway is now in its final design stage, re-connecting the vital natural resource of the Concord River with the abutting low-moderate income neighborhoods that have had minimal access to the river since industrial development of the corridor. The project's ultimate goal is to transform the Concord River from what has historically been a boundary between Lowell's densely populated lower income neighborhoods into a shared natural resource that unites these areas and connects local residents to vital open space. Furthermore, this project completes one of the final gaps in the 200 mile Bay Circuit Alliance Trail, providing an alternative transportation mode connecting 50 communities around Boston. The partners have been committed to ensuring the success of this project, by helping secure funding for land acquisition and design, sponsoring neighborhood meetings/trainings, outreach events, and mapping.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: 6.15 acres of abandoned railroad acquired; Engage 13,500 households through forums, design open house, clean-ups, greenway walk, and neighborhood meetings; Creation of map and chart of priority parcels; oversight of conceptual and 25% greenway design drawings.
Partners: Sacred Heart Neighborhood Improvement Group, National Park Service, DCR Recreational Trails Program, City of Lowell, Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Friends of Rogers Fort Hill Park, Lowell Heritage Partnership, Riverside Community Council, Northern Middlesex Council of Governments, Congressional Office of Martin Meehan.
Massachusetts Coalition of Occupational Safety & Health (Statewide)
"Asthma Prevention through Healthy Schools"
Summary: The "Asthma Prevention through Healthy Schools Initiative" fits within MassCOSH's mission of developing the capacity of low-income communities of color to achieve a healthy environment at work and in neighborhoods. Through this project, MassCOSH will share current successes and new approaches on green cleaning, Integrated Pest Management, and school environmental committees with stakeholders in Brockton, Fall River, New Bedford, and/or Springfield. MassCosh will partner with 8 Boston schools with high asthma rates to develop and pilot a model to integrate environmental assessments and Boston Public School policies into the school's Whole School Improvement Plan (WSIP), and build the leadership of parents and teachers to engage in school environmental efforts within their own schools and become leaders promoting city-wide policies that integrate school environmental efforts into the WSIP. Using the lessons identified from Boston's model efforts, the new communities will gain the information and skills to engage in healthy schools environmental initiatives locally and statewide as a way of addressing school environmental concerns and building their own capacity to establish or expand locally-based asthma coalitions.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: 4 School Environmental Committee (SEC) leaders trained on completing assessments and action plans; Documentation of approaches; 2 parent leaders trained, 40-50 parents educated; 200 building representatives trained; 3 regional Massachusetts Asthma Advocacy Partnership (MAAP) meetings held; Assessments and advocacy action items documented for local coalitions and combined statewide issues for MAAP.
Partners: Massachusetts Asthma Advocacy Partnership, Boston Asthma Initiative, Boston Public Schools, Boston Public Health Commission, School Staff Unions
Massachusetts Audubon Society (Worcester, MA; Woonsocket & Pawtucket, RI)
"Implementing the Campaign for a Fishable/Swimmable Blackstone by 2015"
Summary: The Massachusetts Audubon Society will serve as the fiscal agency for the project which will be managed by the Blackstone River Coalition. The Black Stone River Coalition (BRC) is made up of various organizations that are working to revitalize the Blackstone River and improve the health of the Blackstone River watershed. The goal of this project is to sustain a water quality monitoring program and increase education and outreach efforts in Worcester, MA and Woonsocket and Pawtucket, RI, to reduce the impacts of stormwater through the "Tackling Stormwater" initiative, a component of the larger campaign. The Campaign addresses water quality and land use issues in the watershed through water quality monitoring, education and outreach, and collaboration with local, state and federal agencies. The "Tackling Stormwater in the Blackstone River Watershed" Initiative will target local decision makers to encourage Low Impact Development practices. The initiative will promote businesses to reduce stormwater impacts from their property; developers to design projects to reduce impervious surface and infiltrate storm water; and homeowners to modify their practices.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Monthly monitoring by 78 volunteers at 78 sites throughout the watershed and development of the 2007 and 2008 Blackstone Water Quality Report Card; pilot Student Stormwater Outreach program to train students to educated urban populations about non-point source pollution; 6 workshops on the impacts of stormwater; Revised bylaws and regulations to incorporate Low Impact Development practices; Engage 20 businesses and five municipalities in the "In Business for Blackstone" program; Engage 20 Blackstone Valley engineering, design, construction companies in more creative solutions to stormwater; Outreach to 10,000 on reducing non-point source pollution.
Partners: Mass Audubon, Blackstone Headwaters Coalition (BHC); Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA); Blackstone River Watershed Council (BRWC); College of the Holly Cross
The Medical Foundation (New England-wide)
"Improving Asthma Environmental Management through Health Care Policy Change"
Summary: The Medical Foundation's Asthma Regional Council (ARC) is a coalition of government, community, academic and health organizations that seek to address disproportionate asthma burdens across New England. The project will emphasize the preventative aspects of asthma through tackling the environmental contributors that can exacerbate or cause asthma. The ARC will improve health outcomes for low-income asthmatic children by increasing the supply of and demand for home-based environmental education and services through the health sector. The ARC will educate and work with at least three health plans and other payers across the region to encourage them to pay for and engage in best practices for asthma care and will work with the state Asthma Managers in selected New England Departments of Health to assist them in developing strategies for changing health care payment and asthma service policies in their states to increase the financial sustainability and availability of these services. The ARC will also promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in the home and develop a companion IPM guide for health plans. The project will convene a minimum of five Medicaid managed care plans and hospital Medical Directors, serving low income residents, to share the Business Case, information about IPM, and best practices for asthma management. The ARC will continue to sponsor one annual meeting, bringing together state officials and selected academic and community organizations, to address objectives laid out in the ARC's strategic planning session. The ARC will maintain its website with updated information about asthma and funding opportunities, and will publish two editions of its newsletter which will be disseminated to over 300 individuals and organizations throughout the region.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Hosting 1 annual meeting with at least 50 participants; Hosting meeting with asthma managers; Creation and distribution of newsletter to at least 150 environmental and public health organizations & individual stakeholders, Website updates, Meetings with 2 major Health payers in New England; 1 Symposium of Health Insurers, Health Plans and Providers; Completed business case on IPM.
Partners: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region I office; The University of Massachusetts; and the Lowell Environmental Health Initiative.
City of Manchester Department of Health (Manchester)
"Multilingual Asthma Education & Outreach Program"
Summary: The City of Manchester's Department of Health (MHD), in collaboration with key community partners, has developed the "Multilingual Asthma Education & Outreach Program" to reach multilingual families with asthma education and outreach services to be conducted in the home setting. The project will provide patient/caregiver education to increase patient and parental understanding of asthma as a chronic, improve self-management skills through the proper use of asthma medications, devices, and the development/implementation of an Asthma Action Plans, while also identifying and eliminating environmental triggers in the home, including exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The program will combat the most common barriers to asthma management and control, including issues related to access to care and environmental concerns in the home.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Increased self-management skills of 40 asthmatic youth and their families, reduction of environmental triggers in 40 homes; Reduction in missed school days and unscheduled doctor visits due to asthma; reduction in asthma-related emergency visits; and reduction in the number of asthma-related hospitalizations.
Partners: City of Manchester Department of Health (Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Neighborhood Health; Division of Environmental Health; Division of School Health); American Lung Association of NH; BRING IT Program; Catholic Medical Center; Child Health Services; Fun Nights; Latin American Center; NH Minority Health Coalition; The Way Home, and Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program.
Southern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center (Newport)
"Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes"
Summary: The Southern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center (SRI/AHEC) will serve as the fiscal agency for the project which will be managed by the East Bay Community Action Program. The "Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes" project will continue activities to assess, understand, and reduce asthma and environmental health issues facing residents in public housing. The project will convene and support an active workgroup on resident health and environmental quality in Newport public housing, develop and expand a tool to assess current environmental conditions and asthma burden in public housing units, establish Healthy Homes Response Teams to connect families to appropriate resources and promote better environmental practices in Newport public housing units, and promote the "Healthy Residents, Healthy Homes" model for use in other Rhode Island cities. The project ultimately aims to fully incorporate these tools and practices into the regular procedures and operations of the Newport Housing Authority to service public housing residents.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: 65% resident response rate to Park Holm residential units; enroll and serve 40 new families at Park Holm and 25 residents from Donavan Manor, Pone Avenue and Earl units; Response Teams meet twice a month to establish case management system; conduct six-month follow-up and referral to all 65 participants; recruit and develop four Resident Champions to build capacity of residents to improve health and environmental conditions.
Project Partners: East Bay Community Action Program, Asthma Regional Council of New England, Rhode Island Department of Health, Newport Housing Authority, and Community Asthma Programs of Hasbro Children's Hospital
Childhood Lead Action Project (Providence)
"Lead Paint Citizen Engagement Initiative"
Summary: The Childhood Lead Action Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating childhood lead poisoning in Rhode Island through education, parent support and advocacy. The "Lead Paint Citizen Engagement Initiative" will focus education, outreach, remediation resources and other tools to block groups in Providence, Central Falls and Woonsocket that have the highest incidence of childhood lead poisoning. The Childhood Lead Action Project will work to recruit and sustain strong community involvement on three subcommittees of the Lead Paint Advisory Group to engage, inform and involve local residents in decision-making. Key elements of the project include developing and implementing a recruitment plan to bring members of the targeted communities to actively participate in subcommittee work and volunteer outreach; provide technical assistance and support to community volunteers; and engage residents to solicit feedback on the remediation, outreach, education and enforcement activities in target communities. The project expects to improve the health of young children living in high-risk Providence, Woonsocket and Pawtucket neighborhoods by decreasing their exposures to lead toxins that impede their ability to learn, grown and thrive.
Measurable Results: Expected results from the project include: reducing the incidence of childhood lead poisoning in targeted areas by 50%; reduction of lead hazards in 400 homes over two years; 25 community meetings held in the targeted block groups in Providence, Pawtucket and Woonsocket; 15 community residents engaged in the decision-making process through the lead paint advisory committee and its three subcommittees; 700 individuals engaged for involvement; and development of a comprehensive recruitment plan.
Partners: Neighbor Works Blackstone River Valley, Pawtucket Citizens Development Corporation.
Vermont Department of Health (Statewide)
"Vermont Healthy Schools"
Summary: The Vermont Department of Health's "Vermont Healthy Schools" project promotes environmental health in Vermont's schools through the implementation of EPA's Tools for Schools and additional tools to promote clean indoor environment to decrease asthma incidents in Vermont Schools. The project will educate and mentor indoor air quality school teams in Tools for Schools, develop environmental management plans and evaluations to reduce asthma triggers, award schools grants to help with implementation costs, and award schools environmental Health Certificates of Achievement. In addition, the program will expanded to reduce exposure to diesel exhaust from school bus idling through distributing anti-idling signs while assisting schools to develop anti-idling policies, and test schools for radon.
Measurable Results: Expected results for the project include: Improved indoor air quality and reduction of environmental triggers in 10 newly enrolled school teams throughout the state. Tools for Schools (TfS) certificates for 10 indoor air quality school teams, progress reports from 3 schools receiving VDH grant funds; Completed audit reports and environmental management plans from the 10 participating schools; 5 schools grants awarded to help with implementation costs of their Environmental Health policy and plans, 3 schools Environmental Health Certificates of Achievement awarded, Reduction of exposure to diesel exhaust from school bus idling, Radon testing complete at a minimum of 5 schools.
Partners: Vermont Department of Health (VDH), Department of Education, Department of Buildings and General Services, Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Child Health Improvement Project, Vermont Envision Partnership, Inform Inc, and the Association of Vermont Recyclers, Vermont Child Health Improvement Project, High Performance School Initiative, Prizim, and Inform Inc.