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As part of a comprehensive lead-in-water mitigation effort, the Youngstown Water Department in Ohio partnered with Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), to develop and distribute a lead awareness home kit as part of a campaign affectionately called “Healthier YOUth.”

Our focus on lead service water line mitigation — using home flushing instructions and Brita filters — started in late 2022, but HBBF grant funding was the catalyst to develop the “Healthier YOUth Kit”. This brought together medical facilities and health departments to coordinate a joint effort to ensure safe drinking water for young families. 

“Healthier YOUth” kits include:

  • One 10-cup water pitcher with a long-life, replaceable filter
  • One children’s water cup
  • One children’s water bottle
  • One Youngstown Water lead awareness brochure

 

The components of the “Healthier YOUth” kit combine to provide a point-of-service solution to allow tap water to be used for drinking, cooking, and mixing baby formula, without worrying about lead exposure.

Youngstown Water formed a partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital, St. Elizabeth Hospital, and the Youngstown City Health District to identify recipient homes for the kits. Since the hospitals and health departments already have established outreach programs and mobile clinics, these established channels are used for kit distribution. While distributing the kits, resources are also provided to mitigate any lead paint concerns.  

“Healthier YOUth Kits have been an important addition to our resources to give our families awareness and a healthy option in reducing lead in drinking water.”

— Erin Bishop, Health Commissioner, Youngstown City Health District

The $15,000 grant covers the purchase and distribution of 100 kits. The City of Youngstown recently adopted this program and has annual funding tagged to kit procurement and distribution. The effort was truly appreciated.

Would your city like to learn more about Minneapolis’s program? Contact Nicholas D’Alesio, Water Quality Compliance Coordinator at Youngstown Water at ndalesio@youngstownohio.gov.

Is your city interested in being part of Healthy Babies Bright Futures’ Bright Cities program? To discuss this and anything else, please contact Bright Cities Program Director, Kyra Naumoff Shields at knaumoff@hbbf.org.

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