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Healthy Homes Initiative

Union Health Foundation, in partnership with the Lugar Center and All Babies Initiative, launches program to improve living environments in the Wabash Valley.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Union Health Foundation announced Thursday in a news release the launching of a new program to help improve the living environments of Wabash Valley families.

The All Babies Healthy Home Initiative’s goal is to identify environmental hazards in the home that might negatively impact health, reduce hospitals admissions to related unhealthy homes and increase environmental awareness of health factors impacting the health and wellbeing in the Wabash Valley. This pilot program specifically targets homes with pregnant women and children through 18 months of age. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.), children are often more vulnerable to pollutants than adults due to differences in behavior and biology, this can lead to greater exposure and/or unique windows of susceptibility during development.

“Home environment can directly and indirectly impact our health and wellbeing,” said Matthew Herrick, program manager, West Central Indiana Healthy Start. “The All Babies Healthy Homes Initiative will look beyond the walls of a clinic or hospital to identify risk factors associated with negative health outcomes. Our comprehensive approach will focus on housing-related hazards in a coordinated effort, rather than addressing one hazard at a time.”

Globally, an estimated 24% of the burden of disease and 23% of all deaths can be attributed to environmental factors.​ The All Babies Healthy Homes Initiative will leverage existing home-visit programs to provide environmental health assessments and interventions to 150 under-resourced families and reduce negative environmental risk factors including: mold, lead, allergens, asthma, carbon monoxide, home safety, and pesticides. Additionally, this project will engage 150 interprofessional teams of healthcare providers to create and conduct continuing medical education sessions that promote and share information about in-home environmental health hazards that increase vulnerability.

The Foundation was awarded a $46,362 grant by the US Environmental Protection Agency to create the “Healthy Homes Initiative”. With help from the Lugar Center for Rural Health and other community partners, the program will expand the existing services provided by the All Babies Initiative, founded in 2016 to address the community’s high infant mortality rate.

“The Foundation’s mission is to improve health and wellness in the Wabash Valley, and the best way to improve lifetime health is at the very beginning stages of life,” Joel Harbaugh, executive director, said. “Through the generosity of our donors, we have funded several programs and services to proactively advance the health of our community. This federal grant demonstrates the value of those efforts and builds on the important groundwork accomplished thus far.”

For information on how to support Union Health Foundation, visit or call 812-238-7534.

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