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Your Environment. Your Health.

Healthy Homes

Partnerships for Environmental Public Health (PEPH)

February 4, 2016

PEPH Webinar - Healthy Homes

Healthy homes are important to our individual and community health. As noted by the CDC, “A healthy home is sited, designed, built, renovated, and maintained to support health. A healthy homes approach is a coordinated, comprehensive, and holistic approach to preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards and deficiencies.” While there are changes that we can make as individuals to improve the quality of our home environment, sometimes there are issues and exposures that are outside of our control and require a systemic approach to prevention.

In this PEPH webinar, we heard from three groups that have been working on healthy homes issues for over a decade as part of their efforts within NIEHS-funded Centers programs. Even though they have focused on similar community concerns, each group has used a variety of approaches to address them. In their presentations, they highlighted the evolution of the community-engaged work they have been doing, the resources they have developed for different audiences, and their outcomes. Furthermore, they discussed the challenges and new approaches needed to confront the complexities of healthy homes.

Presentations

Experts

Katrina Smith Korfmacher

Katrina Smith Korfmacher, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester, and she also directs the Community Outreach and Engagement Core of U. Rochester’s Environmental Health Sciences Center. As a policy scientist, her research addresses the role of both science and community groups in the policy process, and she is particularly interested in how groups generate, access, and use information. She participates in many Rochester-based partnerships and boards relating to environmental health, including the Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, the Rochester Healthy Homes Partnership, the Water Education Collaborative, and the Pollution Prevention Institute.

David Evans

David Evans, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University. His interests include research to develop effective methods for teaching patients and healthcare professionals to manage asthma effectively; asthma education programs for elementary and high school students; asthma care quality improvement programs for pediatricians in private practice and pediatric clinic staff; research to assess the efficacy of written treatment plans for asthma; and interventions to help residents of public housing reduce exposure to pests, pesticides, and indoor allergens. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Behavioral Science Assembly of the American Thoracic Society and the President's Award for Volunteer Service from the American Lung Association of New York City.

David Chang

David Chang, M.A., is Environmental Health Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. He has been involved in two projects related to the education around – and the study of – Healthy Indoor Environments: (1) WE ACT for Environmental Justice's Environmental Health Report Card for Northern Manhattan and (2) WE ACT's Environmental Health and Justice Leadership Training. He also will be serving in several coalitions this year to re-establish WE ACT's presence in drafting policy change at the local level and to advance the WE ACT for Healthy Homes Campaign.

Kathleen Gray

Kathleen Gray, M.S.P.H., is the director of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core in the University of North Carolina’s Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility. She works to enhance public understanding of current environmental science and health research and its relevance to daily life and to empower North Carolinians to make informed decisions that protect the environment and public health. She has over 20 years of experience conducting environmental health education with community audiences and assisting businesses and government agencies in making sustainable choices. Prior to joining UNC, she led an assessment of North Carolina’s recycling industry for the Division of Pollution Prevention in the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, advised over 300 businesses in expanding their use of environmentally responsible products and services for Green Seal, assisted EPA’s voluntary environmental programs in developing and evaluating educational materials, and led a community-focused environmental health program at Vanderbilt University.

Neasha Graves

Neasha Graves, M.P.A., is the manager of the Community Outreach and Engagement Core in the University of North Carolina’s Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility. She coordinates outreach on environmental health and environmentally related diseases for various audiences throughout the state. Prior to joining the Core, she was a public health program consultant for the NC Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program in the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, worked with the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education, and was a high school social studies teacher.

For More Information

Healthy Homes (University of Rochester)
This is the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center’s page on Healthy Homes.

National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH)
NCHH conducts research to find scientifically valid and practical strategies for making homes safe and healthy. Through its education and training programs, NCHH alerts families and those who serve them to hazards in the home environment. NCHH's policy work translates its scientific and technical work into government and non-governmental standards, programs, and policies. See also the NCHH’s page on Healthcare Financing of Healthy Homes.

New York City Community Health Profiles
The New York City Community Health Profiles capture the health of 59 community districts across the city. The most comprehensive reports of neighborhood health ever produced, they look beyond traditional health measures to define a broader picture, including housing quality, air pollution, and types of food accessible.

Rx for Asthma: Healthy, Affordable Housing
A fact sheet from the Asthma Free Homes Coalition.

Articles

Korfmacher KS, Garrison V. 2014. Partnering to reduce environmental hazards through a community-based “Healthy Home Museum”: education for action. Environ Justice 7(6):158-165. [Full Text]

Korfmacher KS, George V. 2012. Educating refugees to improve their home environmental health. J Public Health Manag Pract 18(5):469-473. [Full Text]

Korfmacher KS, Kuholski K. 2008. Rochester’s Healthy Home: a community-based innovation to promote environmental health action. Environ Pract 10(3):94-106. [Full Text]

Norton RA, Brown BW. 2014. Green & Healthy Homes Initiative: improving health, economic, and social outcomes through integrated housing intervention. Environ Justice 7(6):151-157. [Full Text]

We want your feedback!

Send comments, questions, and suggestions for future webinar topics to peph@niehs.nih.gov.