Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance started 10 years ago with one full-time employee, President & CEO Kara Eastman.
Today, the organization has 10 full-time employees, two interns and has raised more than 13 million dollars to fund its lead poisoning prevention initiative and Healthy Homes program.
Eastman says funding has come from a variety of sources including federal grants, local and national foundation support as well as individual donations.
She says at the very beginning, she was given the name of the organization, a check and a board of directors.
Eastman says the city then told her to go start a lead poisoning prevention program.
"Since then, with our evolution into Healthy Homes. I think, one, that people may not know our focus is housing, but two, people are just unaware about the issues of healthy housing and how important a healthy home is for people. We place a lot more value on stainless steel appliances or granite countertops or the way our home looks, as opposed to how healthy or unhealthy it is.”
Eastman says when they go into homes, they look for things like asbestos, the potential for carbon monoxide in the house and asthma triggers like mold or poor indoor air.
She says she’s proud that Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance has become a thought leader in this area and that their Healthy Homes program is seen as one of the most successful of its kind in the nation.
More information is available at OmahaHealthyKids.org.