In 2009-2010, two of Health Resources in Action’s environmental health coalitions—the Lead Action Collaborative (LAC) and Boston Urban Asthma Coalition (BUAC) —undertook a strategic planning process and merged into Boston Healthy Homes and Schools Collaborative in Fall 2010. LAC and BUAC had a 30-year combined history working to end childhood lead poisoning and improve the quality of life for residents with asthma in Boston.
In the early 1990s, Boston’s Public Health Task Force identified lead poisoning as the most pressing community issue. As a result, the Task Force—in conjunction with a unique partnership of philanthropy, government, and community organizations developed a comprehensive Lead Action Plan to address high lead poisoning rates; in January 1994, the Public Health Task Force created LAC to implement the Lead Action Plan’s initiatives. From the time of its inception to 2001, LAC worked with a number of partners in order to identify and reduce the number of cases of lead poisoning. Since then, LAC has focused on attaining its goal of virtually eliminating childhood lead poisoning in Boston.
BUAC was originally a coalition of residents, community-based organizations, government agencies, medical professionals, and individuals concerned about the factors that contribute to the rising prevalence of childhood asthma within the low-income populations of Boston. Established in 1997, BUAC originally focused on eliminating asthma triggers in public housing and later expanded its focus to include school environments in order to prevent respiratory problems in children. Since then, it has grown from a small group of concerned individuals looking for a systemic means to address the asthma epidemic in Boston into a large 200-member coalition
Today, following the merge of the two coalitions, Boston Healthy Homes and Schools Collaborative builds on both LAC’s and BUAC’s successes and strategies: increasing awareness; advocating for effective systems change and regulatory policies; coalition building; leadership development; and conducting outreach, education, and training.