The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the recognition of the City of Dallas and the Health and Wellness Alliance for Children for their efforts in collaborating by bringing together stakeholders to reduce asthma environmental triggers and improve nearly 60,000 children’s health in the Dallas region.
“Protecting children’s health takes the hard work and collaboration of many groups, from healthcare workers to city inspectors,” explained the EPA’s Regional Administrator, Ron Curry. “Bringing these different groups together can improve health outcomes for kids and increase their quality of life.”
“According to the Children’s Health 2015 Beyond ABC report, Dallas is among the most ozone-polluted counties in the U.S., and we know pollution is a key trigger of asthma,” explained Cheryl McCarver, Vice President of The Health and Wellness Alliance for Children. “We are proud to once again partner with the Environmental Protection Agency, Dallas City government and many others through the Health and Wellness Alliance for Children to address environmental issues on behalf of our children.”
Together with the National Center for Healthy Housing, Dallas organized a workshop for all clinical staff from Children’s Health Hospital, attorneys, city code inspectors, and the 311 program. The different groups charted their responsibilities and then discussed ways to work together in order to provide better, safer and healthier environments for the children of the area. Afterwards, the groups worked with the city and the Health and Wellness Alliance for Children and were provided training in code compliance leaders on links between children’s health and their surrounding environment.
The Health and Wellness Alliance for Children works to gather community partners in order to address social and economic factors that impact children’s health and quality of life, such as availability and choices of safe housing, social networks and support network systems as well as the physical environments of their homes, schools and neighborhoods.
A.C. Gonzalez, Dallas City Manager, expressed his gratitude for the award and recognized the hard work of all the involved staff, the City of Dallas and the Alliance for Children. “This is an example of a successful collaboration that will ultimately benefit the thousands of Dallas children living with asthma.”
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that is estimated to affect approximately 7 million children in the U.S. alone. There is currently no cure available yet but controlling the symptoms is possible through medical treatment and managing environmental triggers (like exposure to passive smoking, dust mites, molds, wood smoke, cockroaches and pests).