May was National Asthma Awareness Month and Neasha Graves and Megan Hughes, Community Outreach and Engagement Core (COEC) educators, were busy conducting several NIEHS-funded asthma and healthy homes activities and trainings around the region.
On May 7, the COEC presented on asthma triggers at the Statewide Asthma Summit at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park. We were joined in this presentation by Kenneth Greene of the Alamance County Health Department who spoke about his experiences doing home assessments and building a Healthy Homes program in Alamance County. The Asthma Summit is an annual gathering of asthma educators and health care providers in North Carolina to share success stories and strategies for asthma care and management.
We were pleased to host eleven nurses, health educators, social workers, and environmental health professionals on May 14 for the Healthy Homes for Community Health Workers 7-hour training in Durham. This training is designed to teach Community Health Workers (CHWs) how to provide healthy homes information to clients, landlords and other community members.
On May 20, we met with community members at Lenoir Memorial Hospital in Kinston, NC to talk about asthma triggers and to highlight green cleaning strategies for homes. May 21 was the quarterly meeting of the Lead Ad Hoc and Healthy Homes Outreach Task Force. This meeting was held at the Division of Public Health in Raleigh. The task force welcomed Dr. Rebecca Fry who presented on health effects of arsenic and other heavy metals in children. The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Aug 12 and will be a conference call.
The COEC also conducted two asthma trigger trainings on May 28 and May 29 to a total of forty-seven community health workers, including nurses and social workers. These trainings took place in Butner, sponsored by Northern Piedmont Community Care, and in Greensboro, sponsored by the Guilford County Health Department.