Incorporating Injury Prevention into Energy Weatherization Programs

Project Funders: State of Connecticut

Project Partners: New Opportunities Inc., Tohn Environmental Strategies, and Quinnipiac University

Project Contact: Jonathan Wilson,, 443.539.4162

Project Description

From 2014 to 2016, NCHH partnered with New Opportunities Inc. (Waterbury, CT), Tohn Environmental Strategies, and Quinnipiac University to evaluate the impact of incorporating an injury prevention/home modification component into a weatherization program. A nonprofit social service agency, New Opportunities Inc. (NOI), offers a variety of services including energy assistance, weatherization, and senior support. Because the majority of NOI’s weatherization clients are seniors, NOI believed that if they could blend injury prevention with weatherization, they could efficiently offer a service that would reduce emergency department visits for seniors.

NOI received funding from the State of Connecticut to implement and evaluate the program and contracted with NCHH and Tohn Environmental to provide the evaluation services. NOI also contracted with an occupational therapist at Quinnipiac University to assist with the development of questionnaires for seniors that would help NOI deliver targeted home modifications and assistive equipment. Dr. Tracy Van Oss (MPH, OTR/L, SCEM, CHES, FAOTA) of Quinnipiac University also advised on the evaluation.

The evaluation observed a significant decline in falls following service delivery. The study team concluded that “Integration of injury prevention into weatherization work, which targets lower-income seniors with high energy use, offers potential to reduce costly hospitalizations and poor health outcomes.” The team published a research brief in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.


Tohn, E., Wilson, J., Van Oss, T., & Gurecka, M. (2020, January/February). Incorporating injury prevention into energy weatherization programs. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 26(1), 80-82.

Tohn, E. (2019, August 6). Can energy efficiency programs help expand the public health workforce? National Center for Healthy Housing.


Latest page update: February 16, 2022.