The National Center for Health in Public Housing recently sponsored the 2012 Health Care for Residents of Public Housing National Training Conference on May 1 -3 at the Westin Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.
The Citywide Advisory Board Health Planning Committee presented a workshop entitled: Improving Health among Public Housing Residents in the District: A Resident Driven Process. The panel consisted of DCHA resident leader, Kenneth Council, who chairs this committee, and Committee members, Diana Lapp, Deputy Chief Medical Director of Unity Health Care; Robert Grom, Chief Development Office and Deputy Director of the DC Cancer Consortium; and Charles Debnam, Director of Health Education Services at Breathe DC. Julian Wilson of the Office of Resident Services moderated the panel discussion.
Panelists shared highlights of the committee’s work, including:
• Residents partnering with DCHA, the DC Department of Health and many other District health-related organizations to implement a resident-driven community health needs assessment
• Collaboration on efforts to address the District’s high rates of cancer and tobacco-related health issues.
• Coordination of data collection and reporting on specific health challenges facing DCHA public housing residents;
• Dissemination of information on health screenings and support services
• Collaboration with UDC as the lead applicant in the development of a grant application to HUD for improvement of asthma management
• Introduction of the Langston Gardening Club (LGC) to program managers at DOH which enabled LGC to make a grant application to expand its efforts and introduce community gardening to other public housing and low-income communities
• Because of the particular severity of health problems in Wards 7 and 8, partners have met with senior officials at both the Children’s National Medical Center and the United Medical Center (UMC) in an effort to coordinate services
Panelists were united in their agreement that much more work must be done to improve the health of DC’s public housing residents. Participants gained valuable knowledge to take back to their own comes
Based upon pre- and post- session testing, attendees reported that they found the workshop very useful and gave it a most favorable evaluation.