NCHH Authors Contribute to Three New Articles about the Impact of Healthy Housing Programs

Open-Access Articles Are Now Available via the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice Site

Columbia, MD (January 27, 2017) — The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice has published three articles online today about New York State’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program, which are expected to be of great interest and benefit to public health professionals and the healthy homes community. The March/April 2017 print editions will mail February 10.

The New York State Healthy Neighborhoods Program (HNP) is a healthy homes program that provides in-home assessments and interventions in selected communities throughout New York State. During a visit, the home is assessed for environmental health and safety issues. For problems or potential hazards identified during the visit, outreach workers provide education, referrals, and products to help residents correct or reduce housing hazards related to tobacco control, fire safety, lead poisoning prevention, indoor air quality, carbon monoxide poisoning, radon, ventilation, cleaning and clutter, pests, mold and moisture, structural issues, asthma, and other health and safety issues. About 22% of homes receive an optional revisit, scheduled three to six months after the initial visit. During a revisit, the home is reassessed, and any new or ongoing problems or hazards are addressed.

The articles were co-written by Ms. Marta Gomez, a research scientist the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and combinations of four staff from the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH): Dr. Sherry Dixon, Biostatistician; Dr. David Jacobs, Chief Scientist; Ms. Amanda Reddy, Director of Strategy and Impact; and Mr. Jonathan Wilson, Director of Research. The culmination of a 10-year data collection and evaluation effort, the study covers a four-year span of data, 2008 to 2012, across 13 New York counties. In total, the Healthy Neighborhoods Program visited 28,491 homes during the evaluation period; the program primarily serves low-income communities throughout the state of New York. The authors note that although this article contributes to a substantial evidence base about the potential of healthy housing programs to impact health positively, the evaluation is important and unique due to its large sample size, geographically diverse population (it serves both rural and urban communities), applicability to both pediatric and adult populations, use of lay workers, and its real-world setting. The program has been in existence since 1985, has been state-funded for over a decade, and is offered in both rural and urban areas of the state.

The articles are accompanied by two commentaries authored by four federal agencies (the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute). The articles, commentaries, and additional materials are all available online.

“Taken together,” commented Commissioner of Health Dr. Howard Zucker in an official statement, “this body of research provides clear and compelling evidence that our Healthy Neighborhoods Program is making a significant impact on health and healthcare costs. By working directly with residents in high-risk neighborhoods, the Department is directly improving the health of these New Yorkers.”

Read the full press release.


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