Online Program

Public health initiatives to improve indoor air quality and to create healthy environment for head start children in Boston, Massachusetts

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Karine Martirosyan, MD, MPH, Head Start and Children's Services Department, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc, Boston, MA
Jennifer Pawson, BA, MS, RN, Head Start and Children's Services, Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., Boston, MA
Karen Hampanda, MPH, PhD candidate, Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO
Many public health concerns, including asthma disproportionally affect children from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds. A large number of children enrolling in Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Head Start programs are diagnosed with asthma and other health conditions. In the 2011-2012 school year, of the 2,939 children enrolled in ABCD Head Start programs, 548 (18.6%) were diagnosed with asthma. Head Start children have much higher rates of asthma than the national and the MA state average. To address asthma and the environmental health risks in Head Start children in Boston, ABCD Head Start started several new programs. Beginning in October 2011, in partnership with the Boston Healthy Homes and Schools Collaborative (BHHSC) ABCD Head Start is implementing the Boston Healthy Head Start Initiative. Through this project BHHSC is helping ABCD Head Start staff and families and building capacity to address environmental health issues. Strategies include education/training in environmental hazards for staff and parents/caregivers; development of Children's Environmental Health Committees; revision of central policies to improve environmental health and dissemination of best practices to at all ABCD Head Start programs in Boston. Working groups consisting of community partners and ABCD staff are working on health policy development in three content areas: Tobacco Free Environments, Integrated Pest Management and Green and Healthy cleaners and disinfectants. Through these initiatives, BHHSC has successfully increased the capacity for ABCD Head Start staff and families to reduce environmental hazards in Head Start facilities in underserved Boston neighborhoods and in the homes of Head Start children.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe environmental health initiatives at Head Start programs in Boston

Keyword(s): Head Start, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Health Services Director for Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) Head Start and Children’s Services. I lead the health programs implemented in ABCD Head Start including the environmental health initiatives described in this abstract.
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.