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EPA kicks off Children's Environmental Health Initiative in West Michigan; honors three community groups for outstanding service

Release Date: 11/28/2006
Contact Information: Karen Thompson, (312) 353-8547, thompson.karen@epa.gov

CHICAGO (Nov. 28, 2006) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 today kicked off the West Michigan Children's Environmental Health Initiative by honoring four organizations for national and regional children's environmental health protection projects.
Region 5 Waste Pesticides and Toxics Division Director Margaret Guerriero announced the initiative and presented plaques and grants to community groups at a ceremony held at the Grand Rapids, Mich., Reach Child Development Center. Also attending the event were Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and representatives of Kent County Health Department, and Michigan Departments of Environmental Quality and Community Health.
"All the awards presented today will increase awareness and stimulate community involvement in protecting children from environmental health risks on a local, regional and national level," said Guerriero.
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Three Grand Rapids-based organizations --- the Asthma Network of West Michigan, Grand Rapids Healthy Homes and Metro Health Hospital --- were recognized with national EPA 2006 Children's Environmental Health Awards of Excellence for service to their communities and the people of West Michigan.

Two organizations --- the Asthma Network of West Michigan and the Nottiwaseppi Tribal community --- received EPA regional grants of $60,000 and $80,000 respectively for children's environmental health protection projects.

EPA focuses its children's environmental health resources to reach the goals of healthier homes, childcare facilities, schools and communities. Western Michigan is the only area in Region 5 that will receive this EPA support in 2006-2007. All of the honored organizations are part of the West Michigan Children's Environmental Health Initiative.

The Asthma Network of West Michigan, based in Grand Rapids, was recognized for national leadership and service to individuals with asthma. Its model program promotes quality care that allows asthma sufferers to live active and healthy lives.

Grand Rapids Healthy Homes, formerly known as the Get the Lead Out Collaborative, is a partnership of 22 organizations that educates parents, professionals and community leaders about the dangers of lead-paint exposure and other household hazards that affect children.

Metro Health Hospital has reduced mercury use in its facility and has significantly reduced the amount of hospital waste that it produces annually.

The Nottawaweppi Tribal community will be using its grant to support radon training and testing and to enhance its asthma management program.

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