Flint Registry, Flint Lead Free add new training, resources to put city on road to recovery

Flint Registry, Flint Lead Free add new training, resources to put city on road to recovery

Flint continues taking steps to eliminate lead exposure as it adds new community resources and raises awareness.

As part of that plan, three members of Flint Lead Free, a work group of the Flint Registry, recently attended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Homes and Lead Poisoning Prevention Training Center conference in Minneapolis. There they learned how to conduct lead elimination, develop and maintain strategic partnerships, and improve connections to care facilities.

The goal is to receive a wide variety of training that will help deal with lead exposure, determine who it will best benefit, and create a lead elimination report. The Flint Registry is part of 30 public, governmental, and private organizations, dedicated to stopping all lead exposure in Flint by 2022.

“As a Flint resident, I am so excited to attend this conference,” says Janée Rankin, Flint Registry’s director of outreach with partner organization, the Greater Flint Health Coalition. “We are determined to learn and implement best practices and to set Flint on a path not only toward recovery, but excellence.”

One of the most valued skills the three Flint Lead Free attendees learned was to identify lead not present in the water. While the water crisis is what is on most people’s radar in Flint, like in most larger cities, there are homes with lead threats in other places such as paint, windows, ceramic tiles, and even bathtubs.

While these may escape the notice of many, the training in Minneapolis has equipped Rankin and her colleagues with the knowledge to spot the threats.

Rankin is confident the training and education she received at the conference will allow her to help many people in Flint.

“(We will) put Flint back onto the road to recovery,” she says.

“Flint has brightly spotlighted the ongoing national issue of lead poisoning. Recognizing that there is no safe level of lead, it is backwards to use children as detectors of environmental lead exposure,” says Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, associate professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Hurley Medical Center’s program director of pediatrics education. “We need to take action when we detect lead in our environment. Flint Lead Free once again shines a light on Flint with our model approach to proactively protect the potential of all our children.”

What is the purpose of the Flint Registry?

"The goal of the Flint Registry is to make sure that everyone exposed to the Flint water crisis has the brightest future possible…" – Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha Visit https://www.flintregistry.org/ to learn more.

Posted by Flint Registry on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

One goal of the Flint Registry and the work group is to make Flint a worldwide example of a lead-free city. With a combination of experience, resources, and awareness, it is in a good position to do just that. By 2020 the city’s lead pipes will have all been replaced, making Flint only the third city in the nation to make the change.

Still, lead exposure has many faces, many stories, and many causes. The Flint Registry wants to be able to send as many people as possible to the resources they require to minimize the effects of lead exposure and create a healthier Flint.

The voluntary secure registry aims to connect enrollees to programs and other resources that can minimize the effects of lead on their health, while promoting wellness and recovery. In addition, the registry will document the effects on residents affected by lead-tainted tap water and evaluate the effectiveness of health, educational, environmental and community services on improving the health of participants.

There will also be free inspections and abatement for eligible families courtesy of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Lead Safe Home Program. It focuses on primary prevention – identifying and eliminating lead before a child is exposed – and is also the only Medicaid-funded program of its kind in the nation.

The registry itself does not begin until this fall, but it is possible to pre-enroll now and pre-enrollment is encouraged. So far about 1,200 people have taken that step and the number keeps rising. By pre-enrolling the Registry can send you updates and contact you when enrollment begins in 2018.

Michigan State University will carry out the registry in collaboration with a broad partnership including leadership form the City of Flint, Greater Flint Health Coalition, educators, clinicians, and community-based organizations that serve Flint residents. Michigan State University received $3.2 million last August as the first installment of a four-year, $14.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop the registry in collaboration with those groups and individuals.

There is no question lead has caused a lot of harm to Flint, but the city has used that pain to lead the country – if not the world – in how to greatly reduce and eliminate the suffering it’s caused.

For more information, to get involved and/or to pre-enroll, visit flintregistry.org, email flintregistry@hc.msu.edu, or call (833) GO-FLINT.

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