Stabenow, Peters, Kildee Announce $15 Million to Assist Women, Children, and Families Affected by Lead Exposure

This funding was included in the Flint agreement championed by Stabenow, Peters, and Kildee

Friday, June 30, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters and Congressman Dan Kildee today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services awarded $15 million to the Genesee County Healthy Start program to assist women, children, and families affected by lead exposure.  This funding was included in the Flint agreement that Senators Stabenow and Peters and Congressman Kildee passed to provide long-awaited federal assistance for Flint and other communities affected by lead. 


“In our bipartisan Flint agreement, we made sure that caring for the children and pregnant moms affected by this crisis was a top priority,” said Senator Stabenow.  “We know that pregnant moms and young children are especially vulnerable to the long-term health effects of lead.  This funding will go a long way to making sure moms and children have access to important services they need to succeed.”  


“Lead exposure, particularly for young children and women, can have significant and long-term negative health consequences,” said Senator Peters. “I was proud to help secure approval of these funds through Congress last year. It is critical that Flint families have the wrap-around resources to meet their long-term health needs so they can recover from the water crisis and emerge stronger than ever.”


“This significant investment is welcome news for my hometown which is still recovering from the water crisis. Healthy Start funding will go a long way toward helping Flint families and children mitigate the effects of lead poisoning by expanding access to health care and child development services,” said Congressman Kildee.  “I am proud to have championed these resources through Congress last year and see this money awarded to Flint. Today’s announcement is an important reminder that the water crisis is not over. While these federal resources are important, it is also incumbent on the state of Michigan to do more to help aid in Flint’s recovery.”


Genesee County Healthy Start Program will use this grant to expand access to services to reduce the health effects of lead exposure to pregnant women, infants, and young children affected by the water crisis.  The services for impacted families will include medical, behavioral, and developmental screening. 


The Flint agreement was signed into law in 2016.  This agreement provided $30 million to two different federal programs that fund efforts to address the short- and long-term effects of lead poisoning, particularly to pregnant women and new mothers. This funding also provides resources to educate the public on the dangers of lead exposure and helps states identify and address environmental health and public safety issues associated with lead.  


The Flint agreement also provided $100 million in funding to help fix Flint’s drinking water infrastructure, $20 million to create a national registry to monitor health effects of children exposed to lead, and an advisory committee to review ways to reduce lead exposure.