Last month, RHA released two groundbreaking new reports on lung health. The first discusses Clean Energy and Lung Health. With 2017’s Illinois Future Energy Jobs Act, Illinois is increasing investments in green energy sources, such as wind and solar, as well as energy efficiency initiatives to make better use of existing power. What does this mean for our health? RHA examines how green energy displaces harmful emissions from dirty energy sources, namely coal fired power plants and helps mitigate climate change, which comes with its own set of health concerns. This publication ultimately makes the case that clean, renewable energy isn’t just an environmental issue, but a compelling matter of public health.
In the second, RHA and collaborators at Chicago Asthma Consortium, American Lung Association, and Sinai Urban Health Institute submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health a report on sustainable financing for in-home asthma interventions in Illinois. There are a number of evidence-based in-home asthma management interventions that are not being widely implemented due to a lack of funding, including reimbursement through Illinois Medicaid. In this report, RHA and its co-authors identify several potential funding mechanisms for in-home asthma management, including: adding Community Health Workers (CHW) as authorized providers; establish a Health Home program through Illinois Medicaid; and amending contracts with Medicaid Managed Care Organization to utilize CHW services.