Superfund Research Program
Manchester - Dartmouth Partnership for Health
Project Leader: Nancy Serrell
Grant Number: P42ES007373
Funding Period: 2005-2008
Dartmouth’s community outreach project, the Manchester-Dartmouth Partnership for Health, focuses on lead-poisoning prevention in Manchester, NH. The project continues to make considerable progress on the core’s aims. Some of the accomplishments of the past year:
- Sharing scientific and "best practice" information: Researchers have continued to share best practices on lead policy with legislative partners in both Vermont and New Hampshire. In addition, Outreach Assistant, Bethany Fleishman, was an invited panelist for a radio program on lead poisoning on “The Exchange,” New Hampshire Public Radio’s (NHPR) weekday morning talk show. This was part of a weeklong series on lead poisoning in New Hampshire, produced by NHPR, with consultation of the Outreach Leader.
- Education: (Clinicians) Significant staff changes at the Manchester Health Department, the community collaborator on our Clinician Screening Initiative, led researchers to widen their network of partners. Their new partners include Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, University of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, in addition to several new members of the Manchester Health Department. With the help of a quality improvement expert, the core produced a web-based Tool Kit targeted at Manchester pediatric practice teams. The website includes videotaped tutorials (lead screening, clinical management of childhood lead poisoning and a quality improvement guide) and a streamlined chart audit tool to enable practices to quickly compare their screening rates to community and CDC standards. The passage of a new lead poisoning prevention law in New Hampshire has put the project to stay on hold until winter of 2008, when the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services issues new guidance on screening children for lead poisoning. Scientists will publish the newest guidelines on the website. The website will be permanently available to all New Hampshire physicians.
- Supporting policy change: Members of our Community Outreach Core been active participants in strengthening lead poisoning prevention policy in both New Hampshire and Vermont. In the fall (2006), Nancy Serrell was appointed by New Hampshire Governor John Lynch to the Governor’s Task Force on Lead, which drafted recommendations for legislative change in New Hampshire that culminated in a new law being passed in the 2007 session. The Core Leader provided scientific information as testimony to a Senate committee reviewing the bill, and now serves on a legislative lead study commission. Vermont’s lead poisoning prevention bill will be re-submitted for the 2008 legislative session.
- Strengthening community capacity: (Contractors, Housing) The Core sponsored development and evaluation of two new lead awareness trainings for homeowners and professionals, and offered them in six high-risk communities.
- Fostering new partnerships: The Core Leader has been involved in the activities of the NH Lead Coalition established by three foundations after the “Call to Action” community meeting. The Core co-sponsored the Greater Manchester Partners Against Lead Poisoning in 2005.