Improving Environmental Health

Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership nurse and family at Penn Treaty Park, 2015

From widespread lead poisoning to a homelessness epidemic to a global climate crisis, NNCC understands that environmental health is one of the defining public health issues of our time. We advocate for policies that support environmental health at the micro, meso, and macro levels to help families live safe and healthy lives. These policies include:

Support lead law reform to protect children of all ages

NNCC supports legislation and testing that will ensure all children are shielded from lead exposure. As a member of Lead Free Philly and the Lead Free Promise Project, NNCC has advocated for policies to require lead testing in all Philadelphia homes built before 1978, regardless of whether they are a child’s primary residence. NNCC also supports reform to lead blood-level testing requirements for children with private insurance and increased access to supports for lead remediation and repair.

Expand access to high quality, affordable housing

NNCC understands that quality housing and good health are inextricably linked. Click here to learn more about our housing work, including our “Housing is Health” blog.

From the Housing sub-page:

  • NNCC understands that quality housing and good health are inextricably linked. NNCC remains committed to expanding the accessibility of safe and affordable private and public housing, including eviction prevention measures, and to empowering families to create safer environments in their homes.
  • NNCC is a member of the Lead Free Promise Project, which worked to pass new lead laws in Philadelphia in October 2019, allowing more children than ever to be protected from lead poisoning. NNCC also works with Philadelphians Against Bed Bugs (PhABB), which has lobbied for tenant protections in the case of bed bug infestation. Our FAIR Project provides direct legal aid for under-resourced families experiencing housing instability, and our National Training and Technical Assistance Partnership (NTTAP) with the Health Resources and Services Administration provides training and resources on the links between health and public housing for community health centers.
  • You can read more about the intersection of housing and health at our monthly Housing is Health blog.

Expand the availability of clean and safe public spaces

NNCC client families have highlighted the need for safer public spaces like parks and playgrounds, with improved sanitation. NNCC supports increased funding for revitalization activities by city agencies, foundations, and community-based organizations to improve the safety and cleanliness of public areas. We seek to educate policymakers about the impact of unsafe and unsanitary public spaces on family health and wellbeing, and to support increased library and recreation center funding, which should in part be used to improve access for people with disabilities.

Improve healthcare providers' emergency preparedness

NNCC understands that environmental disasters in an increasingly unstable climate most affect under-resourced families and communities. NNCC supports policies that expand these families’ access to emergency preparedness resources and services. Health centers and community providers serve individuals often overlooked in the greater healthcare system, and continued support for these front-line providers is essential to maintain continuity of services for vulnerable communities. Click here to access our emergency preparedness resources.

Support policies that work to reduce the impact of the climate crisis

Recognizing that changes to our global climate are poised to become the greatest public health threat of our time, NNCC is committed to supporting policies to reduce human impact on the climate and protect the health of under-resourced populations, who already experience outsized effects of the climate crisis.

 

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