Health + Housing Working Group

WellCare of Nebraska, has invested $50,000 to support the Health + Housing inspections pilot fueled by Live Well Omaha, Omaha Housing Authority and Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance and backed by a coalition of partners including Douglas County Health Department, Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition (MOTAC), University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health and the City of Omaha’s Planning Department, and the Future of Nursing – Nebraska Action Coalition. The shared goal of this coalition is that every home in Douglas County is healthy by 2025 and this is pilot is one way that the group is contributing to this vision.

WellCare’s donation will assist in advancing the identification of health hazards through the home inspection process and promote connections to abatement measures for households in Douglas County. This pilot includes the adoption of Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance’s “Healthy Homes Tool” and embed it as part of Omaha Housing Authority’s home inspection process of
public housing units across the county.

“Healthy homes can lead to an increased quality of life for children and parents, fewer missed school and work days, reduced healthcare costs and healthier communities,” said Lou Gianquinto, interim state president, WellCare of Nebraska. “As a company driven by our mission to help our members live better, healthier lives, we’re thrilled to partner with Live Well Omaha to promote safer, healthier housing for children and families living with asthma in Douglas County.”

This all started as 2017, in a Live Well Omaha Member Council meeting where Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) presented to Live Well Omaha’s Member Council on the state of health and housing in Douglas County. “What was apparent is that neighborhoods with old housing stock and those also experiencing a higher burden of chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, etc. We had to start working together,” said Adi Pour, Phd, director, Douglas County Health Department.

Since that time, a group of member organizations and partners have met to:

  • Examine current HUD home inspection form
  • Learn about the Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance Healthy Homes Tool
  • Learn about the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition resources to promote tobacco-free multi unit housing
  • Understand how current data connects on this issue and how we document the health status of homes

Partners are meeting now to craft the final pilot and move to implementation.

Are you interested in joining the Health + Housing Coalition? Email info@livewellomaha.org to join the meetings.