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Healthy Home welcomes 2000th visitor

Rochester’s Healthy Home, a hands-on museum that teaches people how to reduce environmental hazards in their homes, welcomed Vonjula Thompson as its 2000thvisitor on July 8.  Vonjula is a Work Experience Program (WEP) intern.  She is part of the county-funded WEP program co-located at the Healthy Home that helps people transition from public assistance into the workplace.  The Healthy Home tour is part of the first day of orientation for all of the WEP interns, many of whom have small children and live in homes with high risks of home hazards.  Since it opened in June 2006, the Healthy Home has educated residents, property owners, health care providers, community groups, and many others about home-based hazards such as lead, asthma triggers, carbon monoxide, household toxins, and others.  The Healthy Home is a partnership of the SouthWest Area Neighborhood Association, the Rochester Fatherhood Resource Initiative, and the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center. 

Nora Herbert (WEP Director @ the Healthy Home), Vonjula Thompson (WEP Intern), Dot Gulardo (Healthy Home Program Manager)


July 14, 2008 at 12:48 pm Leave a comment

Lead poisoning still plague in Rochester

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

May 14, 2008

Lead was removed from paint in 1978, yet childhood lead poisoning is still at epidemic proportions in Rochester.This preventable plague exists because of the large number of poorly maintained older properties in our city.
While the numbers have improved in the past few years, there were still 426 Rochester children poisoned by lead in 2007 with a testing rate of less than 100 percent in Monroe County. That’s more than 400 children with elevated blood levels of a known neurotoxin, causing permanent brain damage whose effects can range from learning delays to aggression and violence. Ninety percent of those affected are in the city of Rochester and are concentrated in a handful of neighborhoods.
The question remains: After all of the research, outreach, education and funding available to repair homes, why are we still seeing an outrageous number of children poisoned annually? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for the elimination of childhood lead poisoning by 2010. Here in Rochester and Monroe County, a similar goal of ending childhood lead poisoning was established. When toys from China were found to have lead, legislators at the federal and state level introduced legislation to do better inspections and to maintain high safety standards. At the same time, legislation for primary prevention was passed in the Assembly but has languished in the state Senate for more than five years.

Click here for a link to the full article.

May 14, 2008 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

Regional Cancer and Environment Forum

On Thursday, May 29, 2008 from 10am-3 pm, the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester will host a forum that will feature:

Prevention of Weight Gain as a Strategy to Decrease Breast Cancer Risk, Dr. Barbour Warren, Research Associate, BCERF

The Estrogen Connection: Estrogenic Chemicals in Plastics, Personal Care Products and Electronics, Dr. Suzanne Snedeker, Associate Director for Translational Research, BCERF

Phthalates, Obesity and Insulin Resistance: First Looks, Dr. Richard Stahlhut, Environmental Health Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Rochester

The Rochester Healthy Home: A Model for Integrated Toxics Education, Dr. Katrina Korfmacher, Assistant Professor of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester

RSVP to Carmi Orenstein at 607-255-1185 or

May 5, 2008 at 8:50 pm 2 comments

GRHF Prevention and Health System Improvement Opportunity Grants

The Greater Rochester Health Foundation has announced a new round of grants in the following categories:

  • Prevention: public health initiatives that facilitate people’s ability to make responsible choices, and that help them to maintain good health status, prevent illness and disability.
  • Health System Improvement: efforts that increase present and future affordability, accessibility, and clinical quality of Greater Rochester’s high quality health care system.

See the RFP here.

The maximum request will be $150K for a one or two year project with a strong preference for projects that can be completed in one year. The foundation is allocating a maximum of $750K total for this round, so they will only be making five grants. Former grantees are eligible to apply; however, they cannot apply for the same project/program. The foundation will fund capital but only as a direct and integral component of program and will NOT fund research.

As with the last round, the foundation has left the options wide open. The foundation is looking for programs/projects that speak to prevention or health systems improvement – no additional detail on preferences except they will NOT accept applications for projects/ programs that have anything to do with childhood obesity or neighborhood health status improvement

Major evaluation criteria include: sustainability beyond the funding period and timeliness of the project/program (preference for projects that are ready for launch and that can be completed in one year)

The program officer for the grants is Sharon Legette-Sobers at or 585-258-1799. Meeting requests should be made by April 7, 2008 to allow sufficient time for scheduling before RFP applications are due. Proposals are due May 12, 2008.

If applicants are unable to attend the bidders teleconferences, applicants can email questions to or call 585-258-1799. Responses to questions will be received within two days. Frequently asked questions regarding the opportunity grants will be updated weekly.

April 1, 2008 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment


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