Connecting state and local government leaders

The Big Challenge Public Health Officials Face as ‘Flint Registry’ Launches

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Connecting state and local government leaders

A new federally-funded initiative seeks to connect residents impacted by the drinking-water crisis to wellness and recovery programs and resources.

People impacted by the drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan between April 2014 and October 2015 are being encouraged to pre-enroll in a new federally funded registry designed “to connect them to programs and other resources that serve to minimize the effects of lead on their health while promoting wellness and recovery.”

The Flint Registry , which is voluntary, is anticipated to be fully operational in September. In August 2017, Michigan State University received $3.2 million of a $14.4 million four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to launch the program.

The registry is being managed by a team that includes Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine , Hurley Children’s Hospital , the Greater Flint Health Coalition and Flint’s city government.

But there’s a big challenge for public health officials: Regaining trust of the community in the greater Flint area, home to more than 100,000 people.

“It’s going to take a long time to rebuild that trust and I understand where people are coming from and they have every reason to be angry and not trust what anyone is doing because the city of Flint and its residents were betrayed,” Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, an assistant professor at the College of Human Medicine, told reporters during a news conference on Monday. (Video via MLive.)

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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