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New York State Department of Health Honored by EPA | Events

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New York State Department of Health Honored by EPA
Events, Health, News
New York State Department of Health Honored by EPA

EPA Honors New York State Department Of Health, Center For Environmental Health, Healthy Neighborhoods Program For Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Asthma Management

The New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Neighborhoods Program has been selected to receive the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2011 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management for their exemplary efforts to deliver high quality asthma care that includes environmental controls.  The Niagara County Department of Health, Environmental Division’s Healthy Neighborhood Program was selected by the New York State Department of Health to attend the National Asthma Conference and award ceremony to receive the award with the State Department of Health.  The Environmental Health Division’s Healthy Neighborhood Program is one of ten such programs throughout the State who assist individual and families with asthma management as part of their programs.

This award recognizes stellar asthma management programs that are using innovative approaches to improve patient health and quality of life.  New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Neighborhoods Program is one of only three programs to receive this prestigious award this year.

According to State Department of Health data, 24.6% of adults in Niagara County have been diagnosed with asthma.  Current diagnoses of asthma are 13.4% for adults, which is higher than the New York State rate of 9.9%.  The asthma hospitalization rate overall is 12.1% with children ages 0-17 at 12.7%.  These hospitalization rates are lower than New York State rates.  Overall, Niagara County hospital admission rates for African Americans are 3 times higher than for Caucasians.

“EPA is recognizing the New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Neighborhoods program for their outstanding efforts to reduce the burden of asthma for families in their communities,” said Mike Flynn, Director of EPA’s Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.  “This program is achieving positive environmental and health outcomes, and EPA applauds their innovation and dedication to controlling asthma.”

EPA presented the award to the New York State Department of Health, Center for Environmental Health, Healthy Neighborhoods Program at the Communities in Action National Asthma Forum in Washington, D.C., on June 9, 2011.

The New York State Healthy Neighborhoods program addresses asthma through a healthy homes approach.   The program provides in-home assessments and interventions for asthma, tobacco cessation, indoor air quality, lead and fire safety and other environmental health hazards in high-risk communities throughout New York State.  Since October 2007, the program has provided services to over 58,000 residents in roughly 20,000 homes.  About 15% of these homes have one or more resident with asthma.  During a visit, the home is assessed for environmental health and safety issues.  Outreach workers then provide education (written and verbal), referrals and products to help residents correct or reduce any housing hazards identified during the visit.  A quarter of homes receive an optional revisit, typically scheduled 3-6 months after the initial visit.  During a revisit, the home is reassessed and any new or ongoing problems or hazards are addressed.  A recent program evaluation indicates that for residents with asthma, the program can significantly reduce exposure to environmental triggers in the home setting and reduce the number of days a person with asthma experiences worsening asthma or asthma attacks.

For more information about EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management, visit http://www.epa.gov/asthma.

The Niagara County Department of Health, Healthy Neighborhoods Program operates in the City of Niagara Falls.  Anyone seeking information on the program can call (716) 278-8292.

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