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.
The Healthy Homes Coalition has a long track record of leading on this issue. In 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected the local Get the Lead Out! project as a national Children Environmental Health Excellence Award winner. Paul Haan was name a “Hometown Health Hero” by Governor Jennifer Granholm in 2004 for his work combating childhood lead poisoning.
The Board has been charged with:
- Recommending changes to improve the blood lead testing rate of children in Michigan, especially in high-risk areas and for children under the age of six (6) years old.
- Recommending changes to improve the percentage of families utilizing follow-up services when a child tests positive for elevated blood lead and ensure the adequacy of those services.
- Recommending changes to improve the availability of environmental lead investigations to families when a child tests positive for elevated blood lead, particularly with respect to children under the age of six (6) years old, and ensure the adequacy of such investigations.
- Recommending achievable improvements to current remediation and abatement efforts aimed at reducing child lead poisoning dangers throughout Michigan and in particular hotspots, including individual homes.
- Recommending improvements to existing collection, maintenance, sharing, and reporting efforts regarding child lead poisoning data, including recommendations for the implementation of dashboards, websites, apps, and other means of conveying information.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley will chair the Board. Seven gubernatorial appointees will serve along with four state department directors or their designees. The departments being tapped are the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affair, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
The remaining five gubernatorial appointees are:
- Riley Alley, Great Start collaborative director for St. Clair County’s Regional Education Service Agency.
- Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Medical Center in Flint.
- Rebecca Meuninck, deputy director of the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor.
- Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director and health officer for the Detroit Health Department.
- Dr. Lyke Thompson, director of the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University.
The Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan is an independent, non-profit organization based in Grand Rapids that is improving children’s health and wellbeing by eliminating harmful housing conditions. For more information about the Healthy Homes Coalition and their leadership work on childhood lead poisoning, visit www.healthyhomescoalition.org.
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State of Michigan Announcement: http://www.michigan.gov/snyder/0,4668,7-277-57577_57657_59871-386566--,00.html