Sep
15

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We’re growing: A new person and a new place

Lauren Anderson the Institutes newest team member approves of our new office space.

Lauren Anderson the Institutes newest team member approves of our new office space.

The last six weeks have been a very exciting time at the Institute. In August we welcomed Lauren Anderson to our team. She is the new program manager for our Harmony Building. Previously Lauren was a Health Programs Analyst with Louisville Metro Public Health & Wellness.

Now that our staff has doubled, we needed a new space. We moved in to 806 1/2 E. Market on September 1. We are on the second floor. If youre at Please and Thank You, for coffee or a meeting, walk down the block and come say hi.

Fall continues to be a busy time for us. The Green for Good planting project at St. Margaret Mary is kicking into high gear. We are planning partner meetings with our Air Louisville collaborators. Air Bare is coming out of hibernation this weekend. Its new home will be at Portland Elementary.

Today is the perfect time to support our work. Make a donation to the Institute on Give Local Day. Your support will help us bring more air quality monitors and weather stations to the schools we are working with this fall.

Give today and support the Institute!

Sep
9

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Green for Good team launches biofilter project Sept. 15

This overhead view of St. Margaret Mary shows the planting that would fill in half of the school's front yard.

This overhead view of St. Margaret Mary shows the planting that would fill in half of the school’s front yard.

The Green For Good team won an innovation grant in 2015 and St. Margaret Mary joined our project in the spring of 2016. Next week the work really begins in the SMM front yard. Our plan is to test the idea that a green screen – or biofilter – can reduce the amount of air pollution from cars that reaches the school building. First we will measure the air quality at the school. Then in October, we will plant a big green screen in half of the SMM front yard. We’ll be back in November to test the air quality again.

We have assembled a team that includes the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil, researchers from the University of Louisville, city leaders, biologists and engineers from Hyphae Design Lab in Oakland, CA., and air quality experts from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Jay Turner, PhD, and Jiesi Ma, a doctoral student, will arrive on Thursday, Sept. 15 to conduct a test run of the air monitoring plan. This includes passive air samplers, a video camera to track car traffic, an electric golf cart and mobile monitors. Jay is an Associate Professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering and Vice Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University. His research group focuses on air quality planning and management, and on green engineering including life cycle assessments for processes and products. His work leans towards applied research with applications to the interface between engineering and policy. Jiesi works in Jay’s lab.

Carl Ray Nursery will be providing the trees, shrubs and plant materials for the biofilter. An arborist will check out the front yard on Thursday to plan his planting work.

The Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Sustainability will be on site as well to install a weather station. This station has a daily data feed that can be monitored by students and teachers.

We are very grateful for the support of everyone at St. Margaret Mary. Pat Butner will be working with us next week to get everything in the right place. Principal Sims, Angela Springer, Donna Schmidt and Fr. Bill Hammer have all contributed time, ideas and support to our project. We look forward to working with the science teachers at the school to schedule guest speakers and get students involved with the monitoring and planting work.

Hyphae Design Lab built this planting plan for the St. Margaret Mary front yard. Trees and shrubs will form the biofilter.

Hyphae Design Lab built this planting plan for the St. Margaret Mary front yard. Trees and shrubs will form the biofilter.

Sep
7

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AIR Louisville wins Concordium Award for Innovations with Data

This map from Propeller Health shows the concentration of asthma attacks in Jefferson County, based on data collected by Propeller's sensor. The green dots represent people enrolled in AIR Louisville who are using the sensor.

This map from Propeller Health shows the concentration of asthma attacks in Jefferson County, based on data collected by Propeller’s sensor. The green dots represent people enrolled in AIR Louisville who are using the sensor.

AIR Louisville has won AcademyHealth’s Concordium Award for Innovations with Data. AIR Louisville is a digital health program that aims to improve asthma control, reduce healthcare costs for employers, and help city leaders implement targeted air quality interventions.

The award spotlights innovative tools and displays of data, in partnership with government agencies, to improve public and population health. As a leader of the AIR Louisville program, Veronica Combs will have the opportunity to present the team’s data-driven work next week at Concordium 2016 in Washington, DC.

“This program starts with individuals who need to understand their asthma triggers and it reaches all the way to city leaders who want to use data to make smarter decisions,” said Veronica Combs, Vice President for Partners and Programs at AIR Louisville. “We are excited about using these data to influence policy as well.”

More than 1,000 people have joined the program so far from partner groups and the community in Louisville, a city consistently ranked as one of worst in the US for people with asthma. The data project has collected more than 412,000 data points about asthma symptoms in Jefferson County. An anonymous version of the data will be used to create a map of asthma hotspots in the community to help city leaders identify where the asthma burden is worst.

The AIR Louisville program is a collaboration between Propeller Health, the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, the city of Louisville, and a coalition of employers, healthcare providers, a health plan and an advocacy group.

The program uses Propeller’s asthma inhaler sensors to monitor when, where and why Louisville residents have asthma symptoms, and provides city leaders with valuable public health information about how to improve air quality across the metro area to prevent asthma attacks.

Propeller provides an FDA-cleared digital health platform including inhaler sensors that record the time and location of medication use. The platform engages users through a mobile app and feedback in order to help users learn more about their asthma, reduce the frequency of asthma symptoms and improve outcomes.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded AIR Louisville through a grant to the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil. Residents can find out more at airlouisville.com.

AcademyHealth is a leading national organization serving the fields of health services and policy research and the professionals who produce and use this important work. Together with our members, we offer programs and services that support the development and use of rigorous, relevant and timely evidence to increase the quality, accessibility, and value of health care, to reduce disparities, and to improve health. A trusted broker of information, AcademyHealth brings stakeholders together to address the current and future needs of an evolving health system, inform health policy, and translate evidence into action. Visit the AcademyHealth website to learn more.


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