Pierce County Healthy Homes Case Study Data Report Released

  • February 15, 2019

In late January, Commerce’s Weatherization Plus Health Program, and partners Washington State University Energy Program, Pierce County Human Services (Weatherization Program), and Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department released an analysis of the Weatherization Plus Health Partnership work done in Pierce County from 2016 – 2018.

The partnership built on earlier collaborations between Pierce County Human Services and the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department’s asthma outreach program. For the Plus Health partnership, the Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department’s Community Health Workers provided 1-3 home visits with asthma clients that provided asthma or respiratory health management, assessment of other needs, and development of an action plan. If needed, they also helped clients apply for weatherization services with Pierce County Human Services.

Community Health Workers planned to follow‐up with clients in person or by phone at three, nine and twelve months after weatherization/healthy homes work was completed. Follow‐up contacts included action plan review, case management services, and data collection on health conditions and needs.

Unfortunately, due to a nine‐month gap in funding, most three and nine month follow‐up visits were not completed, but at least one follow-up home visit or call was conducted. Households with follow‐ups at less than six months were excluded from the analysis.

Households were surveyed before and after they were provided weatherization/healthy homes services to determine health impacts.

The case study documents and quantifies client health improvements resulting from the partnership work that included improved client respiratory control, reduced medical visits, client actions to reduce environmental triggers or improve medical management, and improved client and family quality of life.

Among the significant findings were:

  • 86 percent of households reported taking two or more actions to reduce environmental triggers or improve medical management
  • 65 percent of clients reported improvements in control of respiratory conditions
  • One year after receiving services, clients reported four fewer Urgent Care visits, fifteen fewer Emergency Room visits and six fewer hospital admissions
  • 70 percent of clients reported an improvement in Quality of Life measurements

These results are initial indicators of the potential of Weatherization Plus Health to make significant improvements in the health of clients living with asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). We hope to refine our ability to document and measure these impacts through our work in the next six months.

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