Region 1: EPA New England

Grants and Projects: Asthma


Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (Bridgeport)
"Healthy Indoors/AIRS, Bridgeport"

The Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice (CCEJ) is a nonprofit founded in 1998 with a mission to improve urban environmental health through education, promoting changes in policy and through individual, corporate and government responsibility towards protecting the environment. In 2006, CCEJ efforts were expanded to create the Fairfield County Environmental Justice Network to service the needs of residents in Bridgeport, CT. Bridgeport has nearly double the state average rate of asthma hospitalization and over twice the number of emergency room visits due to asthma attacks compared to the state average. This project proposes to address asthma and indoor environmental quality by educating local residents on asthma (signs, symptoms and triggers), conduct targeted home visits to assess risk, reduce exposure to health hazards, and build a safer and healthier indoor environments. This project relies on the design of the asthma indoor risk strategies (AIRS), a demonstrated program from the Department of Public Health which follows the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute guidelines for diagnosis and management of asthma. By applying proven methods, this project will reduce in-home exposure to toxics for families in Bridgeport that improve indoor health, the project will focus on asthma and reducing exposures to health hazards including mold, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, insecticides, and lead.

Measurable Results: Expected short term results for the project include: 60-70 families will be identified as candidates for home visits due to one member with physician-diagnosed asthma; 40 families will receive home visits every 6 months and follow up calls every 3 months; 90% of homes visited will report taking specific actions to improve the quality of indoor environments, and 100% of the 40 families visited will report improved management of health issues such as asthma, lead exposure and pesticide/household cleaners..

Partners: Bridgeport Asthma Council and Bridgeport Department of Healthy and Social Services.

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Torrington Area Health District (Torrington, CT)
Regional Asthma Coalition Healthy Indoor Environment Project

Torrington Area Health District seeks to promote and protect the physical and environmental health of the residents of the northwest corner of Connecticut. The “Regional Asthma Coalition Healthy Indoor Environment Project” will conduct public awareness and educational activities to improve indoor air quality and reduce asthma triggers among the region’s Latino population, with an emphasis on serving children under the age of five and the elderly population. Activities will include distributing Spanish and English educational packets through Charlotte Hungerford Hospital to new mothers, Women and Infant Care (WIC) program recipients, HeadStart families, childcare center users, women enrolled in childbirth classes, elderly housing residents, local media channels, and at several community events. Direct trainings will be provided for regional home health aides and day care providers, and at senior centers.

Measurable Results: Educational packets in English and Spanish will be distributed to 2,000 parents and community members on indoor air quality improvements, asthma triggers, and secondhand smoke, in both Spanish and English; media messages will reach 10,000 area residents through five newspapers, two radio stations, and two TV stations; measurable increase in number of Headstart children in smoke-free surveyed homes; measurable decrease in number of asthma triggers in homes of surveyed WIC/Family Strides recipients; 25 people enrolled in smoking cessation classes; smoke-free home pledges from 500 community members.

Partners: Education Connection Early Headstart Programs, La Via Latina, Family Strides Early Intervention Program, Torrington Women and Infant Care Program, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Women’s and Children’s Service, Litchfield County Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women’s Health Care, Torrington (Elderly) Housing Authority

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