Tools and Teams for Healthier Indoor Air
by Laura Fudala
For those of us in the healthy housing world, October is a BUSY month filled with awareness events such as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Children’s Environmental Health Day, National Children’s Health Month, several mental health-related initiatives (such as Depression Awareness Month, Mental Illness Awareness Week, and World Mental Health Day), and National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month to name just a few.
Last October (2021), in observation of National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month, we were excited to announce (via our blog, “Equipping and Inspiring Communities to Improve IAQ Now and for Generations to Come“) the launch of two projects, supported under cooperative agreements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and implemented in partnership with our good friends at Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), dedicated to reducing indoor air risks. And wow, have we gotten off to a great start in year one! Here’s what the team has accomplished over the past year.
We developed a few new technical assistance tools, such as Establishing and Running a Local Home Repair Program (to advance understanding of how local home repair programs can address healthy housing issues including IAQ concerns) and Unlocking the Power of Home-Based Asthma Services: Model Health Benefit Packages (to equip managed care organizations or other healthcare payers with the information they need to improve asthma management among their enrollees by ensuring the provision of asthma home visiting services).
- We created a new e-learning module on incorporating virtual visits into home-based asthma services to complement the existing 10 modules in the Building Systems to Sustain Home-Based Asthma Services e-learning course (launching soon!) and started work on another one discussing new innovations in healthcare financing.
- We started working broadly with a number of exciting new communities looking to advance local IAQ initiatives and/or launch or expand sustainable home-based asthma services. (We’d be delighted to help you, too, with your IAQ efforts. Contact us to learn more about our free technical assistance.) Finally….
- We launched a competitive solicitation under our Building Systems to Improve Indoor Air Quality initiative to build local capacity and advance evidence-based efforts to improve indoor air quality through policy and systems change.
Mini-Grants to Improve Indoor Air Quality
This October (2022), in celebration of National Indoor Air Quality Awareness Month, we are thrilled to introduce you to six innovative and inspiring communities receiving bundled awards of coaching and support from NCHH over the next year plus. You can learn more about the overall initiative, the selected grantees, and their specific projects here. Below is a sneak peek at who they are and a little about the projects we are so excited to be working with them on for the next year and a half. We’ll be highlighting their work in the months ahead so stay tuned for more!
Our 2022 Grantee Finalists
The Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (CTCLUSI), based in Coos Bay, Oregon, will focus on improving indoor air environments for tribal members and their families through indoor air quality code updates aligned with multisector stakeholder engagement and increased community awareness and education.
GreenRoots, operating out of Chelsea, Massachusetts, will expand an air quality pilot project and launching an IAQ data visualization and literacy campaign to build long-term capacity in their community and work for policy change.
Mississippi Communities United for Prosperity (MCUP), centered in Montgomery, Mississippi, will drive collaborative, participatory change toward equitable and inclusive public policies and investments such as refunding a statewide air quality control program, strengthening local building codes, and reforming local CCBG allocations.
San Juan Basin Public Health, working from Durango/Pagosa Springs, Colorado, will build on an existing radon program to addressing systemic gaps in IAQ services in a sustainable and inclusive way with the communities they serve.
Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE), focused on Los Angeles County, California, will advance primary goals ensuring community participation in the development of policy recommendations to ensure that the Los Angeles County Rental Housing Habitability Program (RHHP) is tenant-centered, holistic, and substantively addresses indoor air quality and environmental hazards.
Our 2022 Grantee Semi-Finalist
The University of North Dakota, established in Grand Forks, North Dakota, will pilot a digital radon detector lending library in partnership with the local public library with hopes of eventually expanding the program statewide.
Let Us Help
Do you have a success story to share about how you are working to improve indoor air quality in your community? Are you working through a challenge or next step related to one of the many facets of building sustainable systems to address radon, provide home-based asthma services, and/or conduct comprehensive indoor air risk reduction? We can amplify your success, share feedback, provide successful (or not!) peer examples, or even just be a friendly ear. Contact us today to learn more about how we can celebrate where you are now and help you get to where you want to be.
Laura Fudala, project manager, joined NCHH in January 2014 as a project coordinator to provide a wide variety of coordination, research, writing, and support functions on multiple NCHH projects. She currently manages a New York State Department of Health contract and an EPA cooperative agreement that together provide coordination, evaluation, technical, training, and/or programmatic support for healthy homes stakeholders such as the New York State Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program and those working to support the launch and growth of large-scale, evidence-based, sustainable asthma home visiting programs.