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Health Department receives Grant Award to Prevent Lead Exposure in Pregnant Women

MAY 7, 2018 – The Jackson County Health Department announced the award of $15,000 in funding from the Michigan Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission (CLEEC) to further eliminate child lead exposure in Jackson County. The Jackson County Health Department was one of 11 award recipients in the state demonstrating innovative approaches to the elimination of child lead exposure. 

The project will be a collaboration of the Jackson County Health Department, Jackson Health Network, and Jackson Community Medical Record with a focus on Preventing Lead Exposure in Pregnant Women.  Lead exposure during pregnancy is of concern because lead can be passed to the developing fetus during pregnancy or to the infant during breastfeeding.

Dr. Ray King, President and CEO of Jackson Health Network, said, “The unique collaboration between Public Health (JCHD), Henry Ford Allegiance Health and JHN physicians and providers, and the rest of our community resources makes this type of work feasible in our community.”

Identifying pregnant women as early as possible in their pregnancy to offer them an opportunity to connect with public health for lead hazard control services is a critical and unmet need in the community. These funds will allow the Health Department, Jackson Health Network and collaborating partners to work together through an electronic health record consent referral process to connect pregnant women with lead risk assessment and testing services to reduce the harm associated with lead exposure during pregnancy.

The Preventing Lead Exposure in Pregnant Women project will convene a steering group to develop the consent-referral process within the electronic medical record.  Education and orientation of community physicians who care for pregnant women will follow using Provider Servicing Specialists of the Jackson Health Network. 

The benefits of this project are:

  • Establishment of a consent-referral process for pregnant women in the community enterprise medical record to public health
  • Increased focus on pregnant women at potential risk for lead exposure
  • Increased opportunities to provide services to pregnant women to reduce potential lead exposure
  • Increased collaboration and health information sharing between the Jackson County Health Department and health care providers of the Jackson Health Network
  • Establishing access to lead case management services for pregnant women with a lead level of concern
  • Increasing the number of women receiving other public health services for which they are eligible