Organizers of a collaborative project aimed at improving the respiratory health of kids in three urban core neighborhoods are introducing the project at a public event today, Wednesday, June 17 at the Martin Luther King Park Community Center, 1650 Garfield Avenue Des Moines. The initiative, called Healthy Homes East Bank, will target deteriorating housing in the Capitol Park, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, and Capitol East neighborhoods, where moisture, mold and pests have led to elevated rates of asthma. Of particular concern are the disproportionately high rates of pediatric asthmarelated emergency room visits.
Healthy Homes East Bank has in excess of $500,000 in financial support for this special two-year project. The funding is made up of a national grant from the BUILD Health Challenge, matched by local contributions from UnityPoint Health-Des Moines, Mercy Medical Center and Broadlawns Medical Center, as well as additional financial support from Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Polk County Housing Trust Fund and the Polk County Health Department.
WHO: Healthy Homes East Bank is a collaboration among Polk County Housing Trust Fund, Polk County Health Department, Mercy Medical Center, Broadlawns Medical Center, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines, the City of Des Moines, Viva East Bank, the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa, Polk County Public Works, and Des Moines Public Schools.
WHAT: The Healthy Homes East Bank launch will educate the community about the project, introduce the local leaders who will be working together and share preliminary action steps for the two-year project. Watch Cable Channel 7 DMTV “Your Source for the City” Visit the City Web Site at www.dmgov.org 2 2
WHEN: Wednesday, June 17 – 4:00 – 5:00 PM (Brief program at 4:15 PM, see next page for speakers.)
WHERE: Martin Luther King Park Community Center, 1650 Garfield Ave. Des Moines If weather is nice, we’ll be outside. If not, we’ll be inside the community center. There is a parking lot next to the center and additional street parking if needed.
· Amber Lynch, City Senior Planner for the City of Des Moines
· Eric Burmeister, Executive Director of the Polk County Housing Trust Fund
· Claire Richmond, Healthy Homes East Bank Project Manager
· Rick Kozin, Director of the Polk County Health Department
· Cari Spear, Vice President of Community Health Services at Visiting Nurse Services
· Suzanne Mineck, President of the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation
· Jill Padgett, Community Schools Site Coordinator at East High School
· Todd McBride, Independent Contractor and resident of Capitol East Neighborhood
ABOUT The BUILD Health Challenge:
The BUILD Health Challenge, a collaboration of several healthcare-focused foundations, has awarded grants to 18 projects that aim to use data-driven approaches to address social and environmental factors with the goal of improving health in low-income communities. BUILD, an acronym for Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-Driven, is an effort founded by The Advisory Board Company, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Colorado Health Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
ABOUT the Polk County Housing Trust Fund:
The Polk County Housing Trust Fund recognizes the link between housing and health, and serves as the fiscal agent in the BUILD Health Challenge grant application. The Polk County Housing Trust Fund is the comprehensive planning, advocacy and funding organization for Affordable Housing in Polk County Iowa. It is responsible for crafting the community strategic plan for affordable housing and leading its implementation. To learn more, please visit www.pchtf.org. For more information contact the City of Des Moines Public Information Office at (515) 283-4795.