177190 Eliminating economic disparities one wall at a time: The Riverside County Healthy Homes Demonstration Program

Monday, October 27, 2008

Steven Uhlman, JD, CIH , Office of Industrial Hygiene, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Marsie Huling, BS , Health Promotion & Professional Development, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Aaron Gardner, MA , Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Branch, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Wendy Betancourt, MPH , Epidemiology and Program Evaluation Branch, Riverside County Department of Public Health, Riverside, CA
Asthma is a problem in the United States disproportionately affecting children living in poverty. Reducing exposure to indoor environmental asthma triggers such as dust mite, cockroach, pet, rodent, and mold allergens is pivotal in improving the overall health of children. Families who cannot afford home improvement costs or need to rent housing due to economic challenges have limited options when their home environment adversely affects their child's health. In response, Riverside County Department of Public Health Office of Industrial Hygiene implemented the Riverside Healthy Homes Demonstration Program (RHHDP) in disadvantaged regions of the County. Rates of hospitalized asthma from birth to age four years are double in these areas compared to overall county rates. The goal of RHHDP is to improve the quality of life for low-income children/families by providing preventive, cost-effective interventions to reduce asthma triggers and correcting health and injury hazards in the home environment. Clients are selected based on income eligibility, residence in targeted census tracts, and asthma diagnosis of at least one child. Overall, RHHDP conducted assessments in 120 households. While all households received some level of intervention, over 20 percent met the criteria for high-level intervention. Control of home-based hazards ranged from low-level interventions (education, literature, cleaning/safety supplies, and equipment) to high-level interventions (removal of dust reservoirs such as old carpet; mitigated moisture intrusion such as leaking plumbing, and damaged walls). All households received case management and health education. Analysis of follow-up data indicates increased knowledge of asthma triggers, symptoms, and appropriate preventative home maintenance.

Learning Objectives:
1. Articulate how Riverside County Department of Public Health identified target areas for the Healthy Homes Demonstration Program.(HHDP) 2. Describe the steps to develop and implement the HHDP in Riverside County. 3. Discuss the outcome measures used for the program and the results of the follow-up data analysis.

Keywords: Asthma, Housing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the program manager for this project and have many years experience in public health industrial hygiene programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.