HELP Lead Safe Center, which opened on Broad Street in 1999, takes a comprehensive approach, serving the child's immediate medical needs and addressing larger issues facing the family. An initiative of HELP (Health & Education Leadership for Providence), a coalition of the city's six nonprofit hospitals, including Rhode Island and The Miriam, and four independent and private colleges, the center serves families in Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls.
The center connects families with support services, helps find lead-safe housing, and assists in arranging house inspections and housing abatement (removal of lead paint) and relocation. The center also has three apartments available for families that urgently need lead-safe housing for a very poisoned child and for families whose homes are being abated. The center is the first of its kind in New England and one of only six in the country, and averages a caseload of more than 100 children.
"The center's comprehensive approach allows us to deal with medical concerns and the housing issue-the root cause of the lead poisoning problem," says Hasbro Children's Hospital pediatrician Patricia Flanagan, MD, who served on the team that designed the center. "This is an approach that will ultimately help prevent lead poisoning and reduce repeat poisonings in the city."