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).
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.