Kent County Lead Task Force Hears from Leading Specialists

Four experts in the area of lead poisoning provided detailed presentations to the Kent County Lead Task Force on Wednesday, February 15, 2017. Board Chair Jim Saalfeld formed the Lead Task Force in September 2016 to investigate the issue and seek solutions to lead poisoning in children. Healthy Homes Coalition Executive Director Paul Haan serves on the task force.


Governor Appoints Healthy Homes Coalition Executive Director to Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board

GRAND RAPIDS – Governor Snyder appointed Paul Haan, Executive Director of the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan, and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss to the newly formed Child Lead Poisoning Elimination Board created by Executive Order on June 10.

“It is an honor to be asked to serve in this important role,” said Haan. “We have a 15 year history of effectively fighting childhood lead poisoning in west Michigan, and I look forward to leveraging that knowledge in service to all the children of Michigan. Our goal will be to help focus this work on solving the root environmental causes of lead poisoning, including lead-based paint, lead-laden soil, and tainted water. It’s not enough to just test and treat kids. We have to get at the source.”


Healthy Homes and KCHD Seek Answers to 30% Increase in Lead Poisoned Kids in GR in 2015

On March 14, 2016, the Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan and the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) spoke with representatives from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to begin exploring why there was a 30% increase in the number of children with elevated blood lead test results in Kent County in 2015. In 2014 there were 470 children with blood lead levels ≥5.0 ug/dL* in Kent County. In 2015, that number rose dramatically to 610 children. The initial request on that day was to review historical data to identify potential abnormalities related to WIC testing sites in the City of Grand Rapids, geography (zip codes), and time of year (quarter).


Healthy Homes Goes to Lansing

In recent weeks, staff from the Healthy Homes made a pair of quick visits to Lansing to provide testimony to both the House and Senate Department of Community Health Appropriations subcommittees.  The purpose of the testimony was to thank legislators for making a first-time ever allocation of $1.25 million in general revenue funding for lead hazard control.