The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is awarding $15 million to the Genesee County Healthy Start Program to provide health and social services for women, infants and their families that are at risk for lead exposure in Flint.
The funding, authorized under the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act and the Public Health Service Act, will help residents who are experiencing health issues linked to exposure to the lead-tainted local water supply.
Lead exposure can cause miscarriage, developmental delays in infants, and other medical issues. Because lead can stay in the bones for decades, women and infants may continue to be exposed through pregnancy and breastfeeding even after the source is removed.
“The Trump Administration is taking important steps to support the residents of Flint, Michigan as the need for vital resources remains critical to the health of their community,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. “We understand the urgency of the situation, and this funding will help connect affected and at-risk Flint residents to comprehensive health and social services proven to mitigate the effects of lead exposure.”
The Genesee County Healthy Start Program will identify children who were exposed to lead from the contaminated water to assess their needs.
“This is great news,” Flint Mayor Karen Weaver. “We know that children and families in Flint exposed to lead as a result of the water crisis need ongoing supports and services. This funding will help to provide the assistance needed to address the issues and conditions some are dealing with. We thank the Department of Health and Human Services for acknowledging these needs and providing the dollars necessary to address them.”
For more information about HRSA’s Healthy Start Program click here.
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