February 10, 2020

Green & Healthy Homes Initiative Capital Region Awarded with Asthma Business Development Technical Assistance Grant

GHHI will provide pro bono technical assistance to build and strengthen two comprehensive asthma programs with environmental services benefitting low-income families across the US


The Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), following a national competition, has awarded pro bono technical assistance to the Affordable Housing Partnership of the Capital Region in the State of New York and to the State of Louisiana Department of Health to facilitate and support either new or existing partnerships to build or expand the scope of asthma programs to include environmental health services as part of comprehensive care management of asthma. GHHI is providing this technical assistance through an award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Affordable Housing Partnership of the Capital Region (AHP) Project – Key partners include AHP, Cornell Cooperative Extension, MVP Health Care and the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region.
Louisiana Department of Health Project – Key partners include Louisiana Department of Health, Louisiana Center for Health Equity and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

Each of the projects will focus on providing comprehensive services to asthmatics in low-income communities. These services include home-based care and resident education as well as environmental remediation to address asthma triggers such as pests and mold. The goal of each program is to achieve better health and quality of life outcomes for families while also lowering health care costs through the reduction of asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Ruth Ann Norton, President and CEO of GHHI, stated, “We congratulate the awardees and are delighted to expand the scope of work GHHI is doing in Louisiana and New York by welcoming these organizations into our important efforts collectively to directly build the path for reimbursement for evidenced-based housing interventions that improve health outcomes in low income communities and are an integral part of health care.”

“Uncontrolled asthma in children can require frequent trips to the Emergency Room and hospitalization. Not only are these painful events difficult for small children, but their caretakers, including parents and nurses, also struggle with how best to accommodate their suffering. Additionally, missed school days and lost quality of life affect the children’s health, happiness and future chances of success. With technical assistance from the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, the Office of Public Health is excited to develop the BREATHE program – Bringing Respiratory Health Equity for Asthmatics Through Healthier Environments – in collaboration with the Louisiana Center for Health Equity and LSU Health Sciences Center. We are grateful to receive the services of GHHI, who will assist us in crafting an innovative way forward to expand environmental health services (e.g. home visits and environmental remediation) that aid in better childhood asthma management” said Dr. Alexander Billioux, the Assistant Secretary for Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health.

“On behalf of the Affordable Housing Partnership, the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and our GHHI Greater Capital Region partners, we’re honored to be chosen to receive Asthma Business Development Technical Assistance. We know that housing is health care. GHHI’s assistance will help prove that investments in targeted home repairs addressing asthma triggers, especially in low income neighborhoods with high incidence of asthma, will produce improved health outcomes. We believe that the promise of improved health and success in work and school, along with retained wealth and observable health care savings of these targeted housing investments will cause all policymakers to re-evaluate the role of housing in public health interventions in the age of Medicaid redesign” stated John Eberle, President and CEO, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.

These projects are part of GHHI’s growing body of work in the states of New York and Louisiana and will support GHHI’s National Initiative for Asthma Reimbursement that seeks to increase the number of comprehensive asthma programs while simultaneously working to increase the number of health plans serving Medicaid populations and/or state Medicaid programs that reimburse for these services. GHHI is delighted to partner with the Louisiana Department of Health and the Affordable Housing Partnership of the Capital Region. These agencies share GHHI’s vision to improve the social determinants of health through healthier homes that align the efforts of the health and housing sectors to improve outcomes