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Detroit Health Department awarded more than $1 million in grants to improve wellbeing of children

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Children are certainly Detroit’s future and everything possible needs to be done to ensure that future. One way is to keep them healthy.

More than $1 million in grants to the Detroit Health Department from various sources will help. They will support the development of new programs and initiatives for early childhood, asthma care and treatment, environmental health, and teen pregnancy prevention.

The department received two-year grant funding from various resources including state, public, and foundation grants for the following programs:

  • Detroit Ready 2 Learn Initiative – $612,500 from The Kresge Foundation toward an initiative to support early childhood development for several projects including increasing immunizations, improving WIC (Women, Infants and Children) wraparound services, and a new project to reduce infant mortality through peer mentorship.
  • Detroit Responsive Environment for Asthma Care and Treatment (D-REACT) – $150,000 from The Skillman Foundation to generate real-time information on the health impact of air quality via a network of “smart inhalers” supplied to families in communities suffering from asthma to help them reduce asthma sick days. The data will be supplied anonymously to provide a real-time map of areas where poor air quality may be triggering asthma symptoms.
  • Environmental Health Equity – $198,000 from the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation to support an environmental health strategy focused on protecting residents from environmental hazards. These funds will also support a two-year fellowship aimed at working with city and non-profit partners toward improving environmental health, supporting food access, and neighborhood walkability.
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention – $35,000 from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to support reduction of teen pregnancy in Detroit by expanding access to Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives as a family planning option. Detroit Health Department will be implementing the program by working directly with teens, providers, and the community.
  • Zika/West Nile Mosquito Surveillance – $28,000 from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to support Zika Virus Mosquito Surveillance and Community Support and West Nile Virus (WNV) surveillance and testing. The program will support development of a low-cost surveillance system geared toward identifying populations of certain mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika virus and West Nile Virus.

“Our Department is rebuilding around the wellbeing of our children, and the confidence of funders, such as the Kresge Foundation and the Skillman Foundation, in our efforts to fundamentally improve infant health, reduce teen pregnancy, and reduce asthma and its consequences is a testament to the value of this work,” says Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, executive director and health officer for the Detroit Health Department.

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