CG Public Health receives federal grant protecting families from home health and safety hazards

(ABC 6 News) – Cerro Gordo Public Health has received a new federal grant of $1.3 million to continue efforts in protecting children and families, persons with disabilities, and adults 62 years or older of lower-income from home health and safety hazards.

This competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) takes a comprehensive approach to address multiple diseases and injuries in the home by focusing on housing-related hazards in a coordinated fashion, rather than addressing one hazard at a time. This program builds upon the Department’s existing Lead Hazard Control program to address a variety of housing-based health and safety hazards. Funding from the grant will be used to help fix hazards in a minimum of 65 homes over the 3.5-year grant.

Older homes and poverty increase risk factors that are associated with home health and safety hazards. Action is especially needed when radon levels are at or above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Nearly 50% of radon tests conducted in Cerro Gordo County were elevated at or above 4.0pCi/L.1 Radon is reported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.2 Falls are a concern in the County for people of all ages. According to Iowa Department of Public Health, Cerro Gordo County is rated as the second highest county in the state for fall-related deaths (all-ages) at 44.9 (per 100k), with the state rate at only 15.1 (per 100k).3

“Ensuring healthy and safe homes for Cerro Gordo county residents is a top priority for CG Public Health as noted in our community health improvement plan” said Kara Vogelson, Interim Director of Public Health. “This award will help us ensure housing conditions improve in the populations identified above.”