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June 1, 2017
Older adults are the foundation of our families and the safety and integrity of their homes is important to them aging well physically, mentally, and emotionally. Far too often many of the nation’s older adults struggle to stay in their homes simply because they are unable to afford the simple modifications necessary to avoid injuries, not to mention the major health and safety issues that need to be addressed. In Baltimore City many older adults have lived in their homes for decades, created memories, raised families or even inherited the home from a loved one, so many of these homes are in dire need of renovations that would improve the quality of life of the homeowner. Often there are issues with leaking roofs, malfunctioning plumbing, pest or rodent infestation, mold and/or lead paint concerns. On top of dealing with major housing renovations many older adults need modifications to existing structures in the home to make the home safe for day to day living. Modifications include sturdy hand rails on all stairs, safety seats and grab bars in the shower, raised toilet seats or motion sensor lighting. These modifications are simple but life changing for an aging adult and allow the adult to maintain their independence in a home they worked so hard to obtain. At Green & Healthy Homes Initative, we strive to provide older adults within the Baltimore City community a safe, healthy and clean home and most importantly a peace of mind. As an organization we provide interventions to reduce slip, trip and fall hazards common to the older adult population Coupled with the intervention GHHI provides education materials that promote good medication practices, healthy eating and regular exercise routines to ensure that the older adults we help receive a holistic approach to achieving a heathy home. This model of interventions coupled with education aligns with the organizations mission to break the link of unhealthy housing and unhealthy families. None of our efforts would be possible without our supporters from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, we are beyond grateful to have their support as we focus to help our older adults age gracefully in the comforts of their own homes.
October 31, 2016
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National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2016 launched on Monday, October 24th, 2016 with a press conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Moderated by Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, President & CEO, Ruth Ann Norton, with Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Governor Larry Hogan; Carol Bryant Payne, Field Office Director, Housing and Urban Development; Dr. Howard Haft Deputy Secretary for Public Health, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Ben H. Grumbles, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment; Kenneth C. Holt, Secretary of Maryland Housing & Community Development; and Kristin Rzeczkowski, Chief of Staff, Baltimore City Health Department.
During the press conference at Liberty Elementary School GHHI's Derek the dinosaur and The Maryland Book Bank distributed free books from the official Ravens Bookmobile where over 200 students received free books.
GHHI hosted a twitter chat featuring HUD Secretary Castro and GHHI, President & CEO, Ruth Ann Norton. Utilizing #LeadFreeChat the conversation addressed lead poisoning prevention and resulted in enthusiastic engagement from communities and partners with over 1.3 million impressions. Additionally, President and CEO, Ruth Ann Norton presented GHHI's Strategic Plan to End Childhood Lead Poisoning - A Five Year Blueprint for Action via live webinar.
GHHI experts visited classrooms throughout the entire week to teach students about lead poisoning prevention and executed events to build awareness. Derek the Dinosaur went on his annual school tour and visited over 200 kids teaching them about lead poisoning prevention.
GHHI partnered with the EPA, Morgan State University and Baltimore City to provide a free community fair with free trainings, food trucks, fire trucks, fun activities and lots of great services and resources available to Baltimore residents.
October 17, 2016
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Thursday, October 18: Proclamation Recognizing Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Jackson City Hall: Mayor Tony T. Yarber will issue a proclamation recognizing Lead Poisoning Prevention Week in the City of Jackson. Mayor Yarber and staff from the Department of Planning & Development and the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Jackson will share information about the Lead Safe Jackson Housing Program with the City Council during their regular meeting.
Wednesday, October 26: Lead Safe Jackson Housing Program Kickoff | Mayor Tony T. Yarber will announce the Lead Safe Jackson Housing Program, sharing information with the public about the program purpose, family eligibility, and how to apply for services. Program partners from GHHI Jackson and other agencies will be in attendance.
Wednesday, October26: Midtown Night OutMidtown Partners and Millsaps College | Campus 1 Community are hosting the annual Midtown Night Out and Trunk-Or-Treat at Midtown Public Charter School. GHHI Jackson and other community partners will be on site to provide information and resources to neighborhood residents and families with children enrolled in neighborhood schools.
Friday, October 28 Healthy Housing Tour | City officials and stakeholders will tour homes recently rehabilitated for health and energy efficiency.
Saturday, October 29 Lead Safe Atlanta Octoberfest | Host activities for children complete with costumes and vendor tables on lead hazards and tips on making our homes healthier and pest free | Blood testing at this event.
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative and partners are giving away free lead dust kits for lead poisoning prevention week. Learn More: http://bit.ly/2dnA27J
New Haven, Connecticut
Saturday, October 20 Annual Taste of the Caribbean Fest | Educate community members and build awareness of the problem of lead poisoning and ways to prevent the disease. | Lead Inspectors will visit elementary school classrooms to read the book “Henry and Fred Learn About Lead”. | Students will receive book bags containing lead poisoning prevention materials and educational supplies.
October 14, 2016
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Monday, October 24, 2016
Maryland LPPW Kick-off Press Conference:
A press conference to highlight importance of lead poisoning prevention as well as preview events throughout LPPW 2016.
Liberty Elementary School, 3901 Maine Ave, Baltimore, MD 21207
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Tenant’s Rights/Property Owner Training
Event to provide information to tenants on their rights, as well as to inform property owners of their rights and responsibilities in Maryland.
Men and Families Center, 2222 Jefferson St, Baltimore, MD 21205
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
“Day At The Market” East Baltimore Community Outreach Initiative
Free Community event highlighting local health agencies providing free resources and information.
Northeast Market, 2101 East Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Event to provide information to contractors about best practices for lead work in Maryland.
Men and Families Center, 2222 Jefferson St, Baltimore, MD 21205
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Contractor Training Webinar (Delivered in Spanish)
Webinar to provide information to contractors about best practices for lead work in Maryland (delivered in Spanish).
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, 2714 Hudson St., Baltimore, MD 21224
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Restore Dundalk: Monthly contractor trainings, delivered in person to contractors at Restore Dundalk location
Restore Dundalk (505 Kane St., Baltimore, MD 21224)
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lead 101 Training: Presentation to parents at George Washington Elementary on the dangers of lead, and how to keep their families safe.
800 Scott St., Baltimore, MD 21230
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Friday, October 28, 2016
Derek the Dinosaur Headstart Visit
Derek and a teacher friend to visit six headstart classrooms for 15 minutes each through the Y of Central MD.
2030 Elgin Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217\
9:00 am - 11:15 am
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2016
Baltimore Children’s Health Fair
w/ GHHI, EPA, Baltimore City, and Morgan State University
The whole community is invited to the Baltimore Children's Health Fair! Lots of fun games, music and activities for kids, and helpful information to protect your children's health. Bring the kids in costume for a 12 noon costume parade led by GHHI's mascot, Derek the Dinosaur! Healthy trick or treating too!
Morgan State University Quad - at the Student Center
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21251
(park on Hillen Road)
10:00am - 2:00pm
October 13, 2016
Ruth Ann Norton | Tags:
It’s hard to imagine a new low more vile than this one: Valeant Pharmaceuticals jacking up the price of a drug used to treat lead poisoned children by 2,700 percent in a single year. According to Stat, the online health and medicine news site, the intravenous drug Calcium EDTA was acquired by Valeant in 2013. At the time, the list price for a package of vials was $950. By December 2014, the list price had spiked to $26,927, according to Truven Health Analytics.
Calcium EDTA is a medicine vital to saving the lives of children poisoned by lead, a disease that disproportionally affects low income children of color. Small children become poisoned predominantly from ingesting or inhaling chipping, flaking lead based paint dust, found in deteriorating older homes and rental properties across inner city America. The burden of protecting children from this entirely preventable disease falls disproportionally on low-income families, who spend an average of 50 percent of their income on housing, much more than middle or upper-income families, leaving them with little discretionary funds left over to deal with healthcare emergencies.
For families insured through Medicaid, the U.S. government covers most of their healthcare bills. But the government doesn’t always cover such bills entirely, so families least able to absorb the shock of healthcare emergencies are often the ones facing increased medical costs, such as the price increase of Calcium EDTA. And when Medicaid picks up the costs, U.S. taxpayers are ultimately the ones absorbing the shock of pharmaceutical price gouging.
True, there are relatively few cases of lead poisoning so severe that they require chelation therapy, which uses the Calcium EDTA drug. Nevertheless Congress, which has hauled Valeant before several Congressional committee hearings over the last two years to address price gouging, has an obligation to stop the bleeding and pass pharmaceutical price reform legislation that regulates prices for vital drugs like this one.
Meanwhile, less severe lead poisoning affects an estimated 535,000 children in the U.S., who have blood lead levels greater than the CDC reference level of 5 mg/dL. This type of lead poisoning lowers IQ and increases learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and aggressive behavior. It increases the need for special education services, the likelihood of criminal activity and reduces the likelihood of high school and college graduation. The average loss of lifetime earnings due to lead poisoning is $995,000 per child (in 2016 inflation adjusted dollars). The loss to society as a whole is estimated to be $50.9 billion, reflecting the value of lost productivity as well as medical care costs.
The real shame is that lead poisoning is an entirely preventable disease. Each dollar invested in lead paint hazard control results in a return of $17–$221. The time is now to end childhood lead poisoning as a major public health threat. The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative has a Strategic Plan to End Childhood Lead Poisoning within five years, and calls on policy makers and public health stakeholders at the local, state and federal level to take action today.