243256 Westlawn partnership for a healthier environment: A level I community action for a renewed environment (CARE)

Monday, October 31, 2011: 10:30 AM

Laura Anderko, RN, PhD , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Betty Koepsel, RN MSN , Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Anne Banda, PhD MLIS MA BA , College of Nursing, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Background: Westlawn, the largest low-income, public housing development in Wisconsin is located in the Milwaukee area, and faces a wide range of environmental risks: poor air quality, chemical releases, lead exposure hazards, and poor water quality. The Westlawn Partnership for a Healthier Environment is a recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Level I Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) cooperative agreement. Description: The Westlawn Partnership is charged with joining community stakeholders to form a broad-based partnership dedicated to reducing toxics. This partnership, lead by a nurse and comprised of public health professionals, business leaders, schools, and community residents, assessed the toxics problems in the community, considering options for reducing risks by considering the question: In an ideal community, what would the environmental conditions look like to promote the best health of the residents? Lessons Learned: Major accomplishments of the CARE partnership include: a) development of a community environmental health priority list for action, b) development of a community health worker role specifically designed to address environmental exposures and health, c) funding for a variety of environmental programs including Healthy Homes, d) integration of environmental health into nursing curriculum, and e) advocating for environmentally healthy neighborhoods (e.g., the Housing Authority of Milwaukee incorporated environmental safeguards into urban planning and operations such as Integrated Pest Management for the Public Housing area). Recommendations: The CARE Partnerships for Healthier Environments program can facilitate a wide range of environmental health improvement activities in urban, low-income areas, which ultimately, support environmental justice.

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. List the EPA CARE program goals. 2. Describe the strategies for success in the development of a CARE Partnership for a Healthier Environment 3. Identify the challenges in and opportunities for sustaining CARE Partnerships for a Healthier Environment. 4. Evaluate the environmental health outcomes of this level 1 CARE Partnership.

Keywords: Environmental Health Hazards, Environmental Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Wrote grant application and have acted as an advisor on the project.
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.