Healthy Homes = Healthy Kids: Housing Advocacy Strategies for Medical Providers. Dawn Bolyard, APN, Mercy Children’s Hospital Children’s Pulmonary Center Robert Cohn, MD, Mercy Children’s Hospital Children’s Pulmonary Center Robert Cole, Esq., Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.
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Healthy Homes = Healthy Kids:Housing Advocacy Strategies for Medical Providers
Dawn Bolyard, APN, Mercy Children’s Hospital Children’s Pulmonary Center
Robert Cohn, MD, Mercy Children’s Hospital Children’s Pulmonary Center
Robert Cole, Esq., Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc.
Recognize links between housing conditions and child health;
Screen patients for common housing issues: housing affordability, conditions of disrepair and utilities access;
Understand housing conditions issues as a public health problem;
Develop advocacy strategies to help families with housing related issues;
Understand the impact of engaging in systemic advocacy on the lives of patients.
Mold, Pests, Carpeting, High-Dry Heat
Sickle Cell, Asthma, Injury
Lead Poisoning, Developmental Delays, Behavior Problems
Approximately 60% of asthmatics have an allergic component to their disease.
We know that as IgE levels rise in a patient the risk of asthma increases.
We also know that repeated exposure to an allergen increases IgE levels.
Benjamin Burrows, et.al. N ENGL J MED 1989; 320:271-277
1. Is it asthma? (R/O anatomic lesion, sinusitis, GER, or other)
3. Did they run out of medication and not realize it or not tell you?
4. Continual exposure (environmental, occupational, diet)
5. Refer or obtain second opinion from a specialist
6 year old male suffered from uncontrolled asthma; high dose inhaled and p.o. steroids
Frequent missed school days; mother’s ability to keep job threatened
VNA home visit mold secondary to leaky water pipe; old wall to wall carpeting positive for dust mites
Mother, nurse, physician asked landlord to fix pipe, clean mold and remove carpet – no response
New specialist consulted
Within 6 weeks child was symptom free; meds greatly reduced; perfect attendance in school
The Specialist was a lawyer; a new member of the healthcare team
Attorney reviewed local and state sanitary housing code regulations
Called and mailed a formal letter stating the family would seek redress in court if he didn’t comply
Landlord immediately rectified the problems leading to the improvement in child’s symptoms