2017 Healthy Homes Workforce Development Mini-Grants

The National Center for Healthy Housing is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of its mini-grant competition. Funding was made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

These mini-grants helped communities develop their workforce capacity to offer home-visiting services related to healthy homes and to build a pool of trained community health workers (CHWs) trained in the healthy homes principles. The grants were open to governments, educational institutions, public housing, nonprofit, and tribal communities.

Eligible activities included:

  • Coalition-building meetings;
  • Informational workshops to discuss various CHW issues (e.g., defining the roles of CHWs, regulating the CHW workforce, training requirements for CHWs);
  • Provision of training for the healthy homes workforce;
  • Translation of training materials or home visiting materials into other languages;
  • Integration of CHWs into services provided through other programs; and
  • Activities to develop systems or policy changes (e.g., working on a state plan amendment, working to make healthy homes training eligible for continuing education credits).

NCHH has published a summary report about the Healthy Homes Workforce Development project, the grantees’ projects, and the lessons learned for the future: Lessons Learned from Mini-Grants to Support the Development of a Healthy Homes Workforce.

The 2017 Grantees

Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), Washington, District of Columbia
The George Washington University (GWU) and Families USA co-lead the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC). CALC supports member efforts to unite cross-sector partners to improve policies that impact children with asthma. CALC aims to improve access to care and to accelerate prevention and health system redesign in order to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management of childhood asthma through targeted state and federal policy. CALC’s publication, Community Health Workers: Delivering Home-Based Asthma Services, funded through its 2017 Healthy Homes Workforce Development mini-grant, summarized the most robust available evidence on CHWs and their effectiveness in delivering home-based asthma services, and provided a tool for advocates working to advance the role of CHWs. It can serve as a catalyst for developing a well-trained, knowledgeable, credible, and reliable healthy homes workforce.

Linn County Public Health (LCPH), Linn County, Iowa
Linn County Public Health (LCPH) exists to prevent disease and injuries, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness. In 2015, Linn County completed a community health assessment (CHA), which identified safe and affordable housing as a priority need. Like many states, Iowa faces challenges related to housing quality, including an aging housing stock and high housing cost burden. LCPH used the $5,000 grant to organize and host two community trainings for community health workers. Partners from the Children’s Mercy Hospital Environmental Health Program (Kansas City, Missouri), facilitated the trainings, utilizing National Healthy Homes Training Center’s Healthy Homes Assessment for Community Health Workers. The trainings incorporated components that support home-based asthma services and lead poisoning prevention/follow-up services. The target audience includes healthy homes service providers such as community health workers, nurses, social service agencies, the social determinant of health subcommittee members, and housing agencies. The goal of the trainings was to prepare attendees to better educate their clients and communities about lead poisoning and asthma triggers.

Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance (MCHWA), Bloomington, Minnesota
The Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance (MCHWA) is a statewide nonprofit committed to equitable and optimal health outcomes for all communities. Its mission is to build systems and community capacity for better health through the integration of culturally responsive CHW strategies in healthcare, public health, behavioral health, oral health, and social services systems. Although Minnesota has standardized competency-based curriculum and Medicaid payment for diagnostic-related education and self-management services provided by CHW certificate holders, very few healthy housing providers have integrated CHWs into their teams. MCHWA offered an informational workshop and roundtable to familiarize healthy housing providers with CHWs’ roles and benefits, spotlight successful models, and explore opportunities and challenges to CHW integration. It also offered one training event for CHWs. The goals for these activities was to increase knowledge about CHW roles and benefits, better understand barriers and opportunities for CHW integration, and set key action steps.