2007 GCLAC Annual Meeting Educated NEO Educators about Lead Poisoning and Education

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sat, 04/14/2007 - 00:16.



 Friday, April 13th, marked a very fortunate day for all people of Northeast Ohio, as it marked a turning point in the region's battle against lead poisoning and all the harm that causes our regional people, economy, education, workforce and society, as around 250 community leaders gathered at the 2007 Greater Cleveland Lead Advisory Council Annual Meeting, at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, to learn from presentations by world-class experts on "How Lead Poisoning Challenges School Performance", and so much more.

Kim N. Dietrich, Ph.D., of The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, author of “Early Exposure to Lead and Juvenile Delinquency”, and Michael T. Martin, of the Arizona School Boards Association, author of “A Strange Ignorance: The Role of Lead Poisoning In "Failing Schools", captured the attention of all who attended, from Mayor Jackson and Cleveland Municipal School District leaders to special educators, doctors, health officials... the who's who who are responsible for insuring the well being of the NEO community. All were well enlightened.

As a stunning outcome, Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter

The event was moderated by GCLAC Lead Safe Living director Christine Haley Medina and introduced by our host, Bruce Latimer, PhD, Executive Director, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, who pointed out that this public health event is important to his organization, as they have merged with Healthspace Cleveland and are very focused on the human condition... and joking that public health is important to make sure we don't end up like the dinausaurs in their collection, being extinct.

Following other opening comments by University Circle Incorporated President Chris Ronayne and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, GCLAC Co-Chairmen Matt Carroll, Director of the Cleveland Department of Health, and Terry Allen, Commissioner, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, highlighted the work of the multi-year, 70+ organization collaboration to-date, and brought to surface an important lead-prevention opportunity found in Mayor Jackson's recent commitment to changing the rules in Cleveland on property tax abatements to support the fight against lead poisoning, as his proposed terms would provide a seven year property tax abatement for the value of certain home improvements that would reduce the risk of lead exposure for those home owners. While some aspects of the Mayor's plan have drawn fire from the media and members of City Council, it was clear those concerned with public health see this abatement program as a valuable tool in the fight against what is a crisis in this city - Cleveland has the third most serious lead poisoning harm of comparable cities in America... the worst in Ohio.

Kim Dietrich then explained to the audience why we should care. Kim has over 24 years experience researching the physiological impacts of lead on humans and other animals 

The audience ranged from community activists and healthcare providers to sanitarians

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