Bates Community Development Corporation has partnered with Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness has partnered with IDEAS xLab to launch the Healthy Home, Healthy Community campaign to create awareness of childhood lead poisoning prevention.
The campaign consists of billboards and digital ads displayed in Smoketown and west Louisville that feature families from those areas who also share what a healthy home and a healthy community mean to them. The campaign is a continuation of One Poem at a Time, a project started by IDEAS xLab in 2017, that had already replaced 22 billboards in Smoketown with photos and poetry created with community members.
Childhood Lead Poisoning in Louisville
There is no safe level of lead exposure. Lead exposure has been repeatedly linked to long-term cognitive impairment, behavioral problems and even problems with balance and hearing. The CDC states that a blood lead level of 5 micrograms per deciliter (5 µg/dL) or higher is a level of concern in children. In Louisville, an estimated 1,413 children under 6 years old have blood lead levels that are 5 µg/dL or higher. The Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program interacts with the community and medical providers to provide education and guidance on prevention, screening, and follow-up actions for monitoring blood lead levels. Additionally, they work closely with Lead Safe Louisville to connect qualifying families to home remediation services.
Focus of Healthy Home, Healthy Community
“COVID-19 has amplified existing housing inequalities – disproportionately impacting Black, People of Color, and low-income communities in certain ZIP codes – including Smoketown and west Louisville,” said Dr. Sarah Moyer, Director of the Department of Public Health and Wellness and Chief Health Strategist. “With environmental conditions like lead in peeling paint, dust and soil, it’s hard to be #HealthyAtHome when your home can possibly be harmful to your health.”
“Working with the community to craft the messaging behind this campaign focused on healthy homes and lead poisoning prevention was a top priority for our collaboration,” stated Gabriell Gassaway who supervises the Childhood Lead Prevention Program for the Department of Public Health and Wellness.
“We have seen the positive impact this approach can have when community members are the ones shaping the messages in their environment,” said Josh Miller and Hannah Drake of IDEAS xLab. “The Bates CDC Summer Camp students participated in taking photos, in writing, in creating art, all focused on what a healthy home and healthy community mean to them and their families.”
“This opportunity for Bates Community Development Corporation to be a partner has been a game-changer for our youth. They had a chance to show their natural beauty and creativity in a world that has covered it up for 400 plus years,” said Nachand Hyde Trabue, Executive Director at Bates CDC.
“A healthy Louisville is a lead-free Louisville,” said Dr. Monica Unseld, campaign advisor. “Our families and our neighbors can be unwillingly exposed to lead in our homes, our soil and in the products we purchase every day. We cannot allow lead exposure to steal our health and our futures.”
To view the billboard series and learn more about Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention and lead remediation resources visit: stopleadlou.com.