For Immediate Release
December 6, 2017

CONTACT: or 323.546.9792

or Susan Lamontagne, or 631.899.4780

Tackling Toxic Homes to Improve Children’s Health

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center launches Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids, a program made possible by a $125,000 grant from RCHN Community Health Foundation

NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELESHealthy Homes, Healthy Kids, a program to address asthma triggers and other health concerns for hundreds of children and families in South Los Angeles, is being launched by St. John’s Well Child and Family Center. The burden of asthma and other diseases exacerbated by substandard housing falls disproportionately on low-income and minority children, which St. John’s recognizes as both a public health concern and a social injustice.

Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids will help to assess and remediate mold, lead paint chips, dust mites, leaky pipes, rodents, and other asthma triggers from the homes of children with persistent asthma, as well as integrate primary care, team-based case management, and in-home education by community health workers. The program is made possible by a $125,000 grant from the RCHN Community Health Foundation.

“When children live in substandard housing, we see chronic sinusitis, chronic ear infections, and extreme difficulty controlling asthma,” said St. John’s CEO and President Jim Mangia. “This grant will help us provide a prescription for healthier housing to the hundreds of children in South Los Angeles who grapple with persistent asthma exacerbated by their home environments.”

St. John’s cares for more than 2,500 asthmatic children in its network, including an estimated 550 asthmatic children at its Frayser Health Center location, where the project will be launched. The health center will partner with Strategic Actions for a Just Society (SAJE) to address housing problems and engage with landlords and city agencies in order to improve housing conditions. It will also provide non-toxic cleaning kits to families grappling with substandard housing issues.

“This exciting project will identify the underlying triggers of asthma in children’s homes and address them systematically, which has the potential to make a world of difference for thousands of families,” said Feygele Jacobs, president and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation. “Our foundation is pleased to support St. John’s Well Child and Family Center’s innovative approach, and share lessons learned that will improve care for high-risk communities.”

St. John’s is one of five grantees in five states to receive $125,000 each to launch an innovative approach to improve community health. Other projects include initiatives to reduce ER visits and hospitalizations among complex, high-use patients at Fenway Health in Boston, MA; integrate primary care with mental health, substance use treatment, and social support services at ACCESS Community Health Network in Chicago, IL; and improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables for those at risk for diabetic and other chronic illnesses at Idaho Primary Care Association in Boise, ID and at Mariposa Community Health Center in Nogales, AZ.

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St. John’s Well Child and Family Center is an independent 501(c)(3) community health center serving patients of all ages through a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers and school-based clinics that span the breadth of central and south Los Angeles and Compton. St. John’s seeks to eliminate health disparities and foster community well-being by providing and promoting the highest quality of care in South Los Angeles.    

The RCHN Community Health Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation established to support community health centers through strategic investment, outreach, education, and cutting-edge health policy research. The only foundation in the U.S. dedicated solely to community health centers, RCHN CHF builds on a long-standing commitment to providing accessible, high-quality, community-based healthcare services for underserved and medically vulnerable populations.