Picente: Oneida County Expands ‘Healthy Neighborhoods’ into Rome

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. today announced the expansion of Oneida County’s Healthy Neighborhoods Program, which focuses on health and safety issues in the home, to include sections of the City of Rome.  The program had previously targeted ‘at risk’ areas of Utica’s Cornhill and West Utica only.

The program, which is funded through the New York State Department of Health and administered through the Oneida County Health Department, is free to residents living in the target areas and provides an in-home survey and assessment of existing conditions that impact various heath and safety issues in the home.
 “We’re pleased to offer the services of the Healthy Neighborhoods Program to the residents of Rome who can benefit from the educational materials, safety products and referrals to other community agencies to assist in ensuring safer housing,” Picente said.  He added, “With the cooperation of the Community and Economic Development Office in the City of Rome, Healthy Neighborhoods will strive to reduce the number of incidents of asthma, childhood lead poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning, unintentional injuries resulting from accidents in the home and fire injuries and deaths.”
Picente explained that residents living in ‘high risk’ areas of South Rome can make an appointment for a home visit by Healthy Neighborhoods staff who will conduct the survey and assessment. Upon completion of the survey, families are provided with valuable educational  materials and free cleaning and safety products that may include, smoke and carbon monoxide  detectors, soap, toothpaste and tooth brushes, insect foggers, electrical outlet caps, cabinet locks and bathtub safety strips.
Rome Mayor James Brown stressed the importance of educating the residents living in ‘high risk’ areas on the health risks inherent to an aged housing stock.  “Education is half the battle, and hopefully the services provided these families will empower them to maintain a clean, safe and healthy environment for their children. South Rome exhibits some of the oldest homes in the area.  Unfortunately, this translates to high levels of lead, increased fire hazards and structural deficiencies.  The Healthy Neighborhoods Program complements some of our other bold initiatives including the Canal Village housing development, codes enforcement activities and home energy efficiency rehabilitation programs and arms families with the tools and knowledge they need right now to keep their children safe and healthy.” 
Residents of South Rome who are interested in participating in a home survey should call the Healthy Neighborhoods Program at 798-5481 to determine if they reside within the target area and to schedule an appointment.  Appointments are typically set within 48 hours.