A Focus on Flint, Michigan

“What happened in Flint was obviously unfortunate, but it brings to everyone’s attention the inequities that exist in our country.”

-Barry Segal, Founder of Focus for Health and Segal Family Foundation

Flint Vehicle City sign

FLINT, MI – AUGUST 22: Flint Vehicle City sign, shown here on August 22, 2015, spans downtown Flint, MI.

The Flint water crisis is representative of the many social issues that exist in the United States. The lower socioeconomic class continues to grow and has become increasingly disenfranchised from the potential for economic growth, quality health services, and community power.

According to a study co-authored by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who helped bring the lead crisis in Flint to light:

Flint children already suffer from risk factors that innately increase their lead exposure: poor nutrition, concentrated poverty, and older housing stock. With limited protective measures, such as low rates of breastfeeding, and scarce resources for water alternatives, lead in water further exacerbates preexisting risk factors. Increased lead-poisoning rates have profound implications for the life course potential of an entire cohort of Flint children already rattled with toxic stress contributors (e.g., poverty, violence, unemployment, food insecurity). This is particularly troublesome in light of recent findings of the epigenetic effects of lead exposure on one’s grandchildren.

Hanna-Attisha, M., LaChance, J., Sadler, R.C., Schnepp, A.C. (2016). Elevated blood lead levels in children associated with the Flint drinking water crisis: A spatial analysis of risk and public health response. American Journal of Public Health, 106, 283-290.

In Flint, we support efforts that increase public awareness of the connection between hazardous environmental exposures and the immune system, and address how social determinants of health and inequality within populations creates vulnerability to disease.

What FFH is doing in Flint

We have partnered with Big Sean’s Sean Anderson Foundation (SAF) to collaborate with community resources such as the Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF) to support the children of Flint, Michigan.

Through collaboration, we have not only provided financial support, but also created printed materials which pull together necessary information to inform the community about short and long term effects of lead, what they can do now, and who they can contact. See below “A Family’s Guide to the Lead Crisis in Flint, Michigan”.

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FFH will maintain a presence in Flint, advocating for resources to ensure that the community has both the education and the opportunity to make optimal health decisions for themselves and their families.

A Family’s Guide to the Lead Crisis in Flint, Michigan

An educational brochure created in collaboration with Sean Anderson Foundation, and Community Foundation of Greater Flint
Click here to view printable PDF of this brochure.
Please contact FFH at info@focusforhealth.org if you would like a printed version.
Thank you Ridge Marketing for designing this brochure.

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