New Madrid County Child Health Champion Campaign
The Project's Purpose
The purpose of this tri-community pilot is to:
- identify the information the communities need to protect their children from environmental health threats;
- Convey that information effectively;
- Determine what additional help communities need to sustain the effort; and
- Help the communities attain the necessary sustainable assistance.
EPA Region 7 selected a rural environmental justice project in the Bootheel of Missouri as its Child Health Champion Campaign pilot project. This area encompasses three agricultural communities in New Madrid County, Missouri: the City of Howardville, the City of Lilbourn, and the Village of North Lilbourn. In addition to these three jurisdictions, EPA and other partners involved include the Great Rivers Alliance of Natural Resources Districts and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service.
To date, the Child Health Champion Community Team's accomplishments include:
- Identifying three priorities that threaten the environmental health of their children: lead poisoning, asthma and allergies, and water quality;
- Developing a mission statement that governs its activities and enforces a collaborative effort;
- Establishing an Outreach Committee to inform the community of progress on the project;
- Forming an Action Plan Committee to develop a plan to address each of the three priorities;
- Creating a methodology to educate and inform the community of environmental risks;
- Establishing Resource Centers in the three communities to disseminate information to the public regarding environmental threats in the community; and
- Submitting an action plan to EPA Headquarters. (The team is currently identifying local partners to assist in implementing the action plan.)
EPA has provided funding for baseline assessment and pilot planning for Fiscal Year 1998. In addition, EPA will provide information, guidance, and technical support for the pilot communities as needed, but the Child Health Champion Community Team will lead the process for baseline assessments, goal-setting, and action plan development. EPA has also provided funding for implementing the action plan.
- USDA/NRCS Midwest Region
- EPA Region 7
- Great Rivers Alliance of Natural Resource Districts
- Missouri Department of Natural Resources
- New Madrid County Health Department
- Missouri Department of Public Health
- New Madrid County Tri-Community Team
- Missouri Department of Conservation
- Delta Area Economic Development Corporation
- Bootheel Nurses Association
- Lincoln University Cooperative Extension
Benefits to the Communities as a Result of the Project
Benefits to the community will be a safer environment for children, greater community awareness regarding children's health hazards and prevention of hazards, and a greater capacity to address needs and concerns on a local level. Listed below are the goals/benefits identified by the Community Team in the Action Plan for the NMCTC Children's Health Project:
- 40% of all families in the Tri-Community will have knowledge of the threat of lead poisoning to young children.
- The necessary time, accessible locations, and enough personnel to screen/test children in the Tri-Community for lead poisoning will be made available. These tests will be provided at no cost to the families.
- Children found to have elevated blood-lead levels will be referred to appropriate medical care services.
- Capacity building will produce a more informed decision-making process regarding lead hazards and result in an improved quality of life.
- Areas around school(s) and children's playgrounds will be planted with appropriate evergreens, and long-lived trees and shrubs to decrease dust contaminants. Decreasing dust can contribute to fewer allergic/asthma reactions.
- Through education and awareness, citizens will become more informed of the environment surrounding them, which will impact their decision-making process and improve their quality of life.
- Increased citizens' awareness of possible health hazards will be offered through education and awareness training regarding the environmental health hazards of chemical products, tobacco smoke, home insect allergens, field and agricultural dust, and the adverse effect on children's respiratory health.
- WATER QUALITY
- Educational materials and training workshops will be provided concerning safe drinking water, stagnant water, water sampling and also the signs/symptoms of contaminated water and resultant ill health effects, to citizens in Howardville, Lilbourn, and North Lilbourn.
- The three communities will gain capacity for the recognition of environmental hazards and ways to reduce those threats in drinking water, storm water drainage, and stagnant water.
- Storm water drainage in the Tri-Community area will be improved.
Child Health Champion Campaign
The Child Health Champion Campaign is a pilot designed to empower communities to take steps to protect their children from environmental health threats. EPA initiated the pilot program to meet specific goals of President Clinton's Executive Order, Protection of Children from Environmental Health and Safety Risks, and EPA's National Agenda to Protect Children's Health from Environmental Health Threats.
EPA Region 7 Contact
Kathleen L. Fenton
CARE Program Manager