Partners: Elevate Energy, Green & Healthy Homes Initiative, AMITA Health, Sinai Urban Health Institute
This pilot targeted income eligible communities with high numbers of severe asthma patients. The objective was to determine whether both health and energy efficiency outcomes could be achieved in patients’ homes using a coordinated service delivery model.
The goal of the pilot was to develop a coordinated service delivery model that achieves a whole-home retrofit for ComEd customers with significant health, safety and energy benefits, while leveraging the time and financial resources health industry partners. Elevate Energy partnered with Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI), AMITA Health and Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI); AMITA Health received co-funding for the pilot and led the participant recruitment and enrollment , SUHI community health workers led patient education and support, GHHI provided technical assistance and Elevate Energy led the energy assessments and interventions. Funds from ComEd provided energy efficiency and health and safety modifications that improved indoor air quality for asthma patients, while the healthcare funds supported in-home education for asthma self-management.
Six households were recruited and enrolled in the pilot and home upgrades were completed for two of them. The two participating households received a variety of healthy home upgrades, including new furnace filters, bathroom fans, removal of moldy drywall and HEPA air filters. One household received a high-efficiency furnace, a new ECM blower and an efficient hot water heater.
The greatest challenges for this project stemmed from the limited capacity and differing priorities of the healthcare partners, leading to low participant recruitment and enrollment. Several recommendations for alternate approaches were made by the pilot team, include working with managed care organizations, increasing the size of the program and allowing for a fulltime employee to oversee coordination between partners and patient recruitment.