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Educating Refugees to Improve Their Home Environmental Health

Korfmacher, Katrina Smith PhD; George, Valerie MS

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: September/October 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 5 - p 469–473
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e318226ca05
Original Articles

Rochester's Healthy Home was a hands-on home environmental health museum that educated more than 3500 visitors between June 2006 and December 2009. The Healthy Home provided visitors with the tools, resources, and motivation to make their homes healthier by reducing environmental hazards. The Healthy Home focused on empowering low-income renters to protect their families from home health risks, but served a broad audience. On the basis of the Healthy Home's initial successes with diverse visitors, in 2009 the county health department provided funding for a 6-month project to educate 200 recently arrived refugees. This report summarizes the project's innovative approach to home health education, presents evaluation data on impacts on refugees and other visitors, suggests implications for resettlement agencies, and provides guidelines for those interested in replicating this approach in their own community.

This report summarizes the Healthy Home project's innovative approach to home health education, presents evaluation data on impacts on refugees and other visitors, suggests implications for resettlement agencies, and provides guidelines for those interested in replicating this approach in their own community.

Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.

Correspondence: Katrina Smith Korfmacher, PhD, Environmental Health Sciences Center, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Ave, Box EHSC, Rochester, NY 14642 (Katrina_korfmacher@urmc.rochester.edu).

This project was supported by the Monroe County Department of Public Health's 2009 Lead Primary Prevention Grant from the New York State Department of Health, and by NIEHS grant P30 ES 01247.

The authors thank Dot Gulardo (Healthy Home Program Manager), Sara Botelho (intern), and the staff and interpreters at the Catholic Family Center of Rochester for their contributions to this project and review of manuscript drafts. The authors are responsible for the content of this article, which does not necessarily reflect the views of Healthy Home project funders.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.