$4.5M is heading to the Flint Registry to continue public health work

FLINT — Following passage by the U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 21, the United States Senate followed suit and has passed a $1.4 trillion annual appropriations bill that will fund federal agencies for the remainder of fiscal year 2021 and includes new funding to continue the impactful work of the Flint Registry.

It now heads to the President, who is expected to sign the bill into law. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (H.R.133) – which also includes the separate $900 billion Coronavirus Response and Relief Act – provides $4.5M to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically to support the Flint Registry’s on-going work to improve public health in the community.

With current federal funding for the Flint Registry set to expire in July of 2021, this critical renewal of federal assistance will allow the Flint Registry to continue supporting the Flint community into 2022.

“The Flint Registry plays a critical role in Flint’s recovery from the water crisis by connecting families to the services they need to minimize the impact of lead on their health,” said Congressman Kildee. “I am proud that Republicans and Democrats came together to fund the Flint Registry. This important public health program is critical for Flint families, especially during the ongoing pandemic. I remain committed to working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to maintain support for this program for many years to come.”

“We are so grateful to Congress, especially our Michigan delegation, for their steadfast commitment to Flint’s long-term recovery,” said Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, associate professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and director of MSU-Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative. “The Flint Registry has already improved the lives of thousands of individuals, and we look forward to helping thousands more and sharing our lessons with similarly-impacted communities.”

Officially launched for public enrollment in 2018, the Flint Registry is a voluntary public health registry for anyone exposed to Flint water because they lived, worked, or attended school in the City of Flint from April 25, 2014, to October 15, 2015. The Flint Registry connects people to services and programs that currently exist in the community to aid in the recovery process and measures how the crisis has impacted the Flint community. The renewal of federal funding will allow the Flint Registry to continue enrolling and connecting eligible participants, as well as to conduct future waves of surveys for long term follow-up and support.

“As a community member and activist, the Flint registry has been an essential resource in contacting the community and involving its voice,” said Bishop Bernadel Jefferson, Faith Deliverance Center and member of the Flint Registry Community Advisory Board. “The Registry has given security to the community knowing there is a place to go for help and sources needed for recovery.”

To date, thousands of individuals have already enrolled in the Flint Registry and almost 20,000 referrals have been made to critical public health promoting services like health care access, nutrition support and lead elimination resources. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Flint Registry continues to be a timely resource for emergency connections such as food assistance and mental health services.

“From one public health crisis to another, the Flint community continues to persevere despite overwhelming obstacles,” said Kirk Smith, President and CEO of the Greater Flint Health Coalition, “I encourage everyone to sign up for the Flint Registry if you have not done so already. Not only will it help you and your family, it will help us better understand how the city as a whole is doing and how we can best move forward.”

With over 50 Flint-based staff, the Flint Registry is waiting to hear from potential participants. To learn more or to enroll, visit flintregistry.org, email flintregistry@hc.msu.edu, or call (833) GO-FLINT. After successful completion of enrollment, participants are mailed a $50 Thank You check. — G.G.