Local health organizations implement lung health programs with $ 1.5 million grant



PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – The City / County of Peoria Health Department and community partners are tackling lung health issues in Peoria and Tazewell counties.

Partners include Tazewell County Health Department, Hult Center for Healthy Living, OSF Healthcare, Heartland Health Services, Respiratory Health Association, Peoria Public Schools, and Beijing Public Schools.

Health leaders said the organizations are implementing community lung health programs as part of the Edwards Settlement Project.

The name derives from the 2019 settlement agreement with the owners of the ED Edwards coal-fired power plant. Made under the Clean Air Act in 2013, the lawsuit settlement provided a total of $ 8.6 million for workforce development, health care funding and energy projects. clean. It also plans to close the Edwards plant by the end of 2022.

Diana Scott, communications manager for the City and County of Peoria Health Department, said they were able to secure a $ 1.5 million grant over 4 years for lung health programs.

“Due to the prevailing winds, pollution from coal-fired power plants has crossed the river to Creve Coeur, Beijing, south of Peoria, there are many communities of concern where lung health has been a problem,” he said. Scott said.

At the Peoria County Board of Health meeting on Monday evening, representatives from partner organizations were able to present their progress over the year with the settlement project.

“In this first year, we took a lot of time with our partners to develop our work plans for the year,” Scott said. “We have areas that are for lung CT scans for cancer, we have health promotion for adults in the community for COPD and asthma and help getting them into services. “

“We are working with the school district to make sure that we have asthma medication and asthma take-home kits for our children to school so if they can stay in school and they don’t have to leave school to go home if there is an asthma problem, ”Scott said. “We are working with other community partners on spirometry testing. “

Scott said all of these programs will be free for people in the community. She said some programs have taken place at different stages, some for three months and others for six months.

“There is also a program with our Radon and Healthy Homes,” Scott said.

“We have ordered two spirometry machines for Heartland Health Services so that they can perform these tests,” Scott said. “We’ve had asthma in schools and we’re going to probably reach 625 kids this year, hopefully when school resumes. Whatever we haven’t done in the first six months, we’re on the hook for the next six months. ”

She said the goal for the future is to make sure they use all of their funding and help affected communities, including displaced workers from Edwards and those living in disenfranchised neighborhoods who generally have more adverse effects on lung health.

The full presentation with each specific program, its progress and goals can be viewed here.


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