Cambridge health officials want to get more kids tested for lead, but have no authority to enforce a state law that mandates testing for all children under 4. Still, state officials are making an effort to raise testing levels statewide, and Cambridge is joining in.
Despite excelling in lead levels, safe water, Cambridge has gaps in testing its youngest (corrected)
Cambridge can claim some enviable statistics when it comes to lead contamination in water and lead levels in children’s blood, but the city has a disturbing gap: Around 20 percent of children under the age of 4 are not being tested at all for the metal.
The Cambridge Housing Authority is giving $450,000 to one community program and free space to another inside a health clinic on Windsor Street near two public housing developments.
Five patients of the Cambridge Health Alliance killed or seriously hurt themselves last year, a marked improvement from the total of nine suicide or serious self-harm incidents in 2014. Almost all the reduction came at Cambridge Hospital.
A waiting list for coveted rent assistance subsidies reopens Oct. 3 after more than eight years closed to applicants, and now can even be done online. But there won’t be many certificates to hand out, a housing official cautioned when announcing the news.
The ink was barely dry on Cambridge Health Alliance’s break-even budget for the coming year when $2.3 million in expected revenue for the financially challenged health care system was placed in doubt because of a gubernatorial veto.
The Cambridge Housing Authority and Boston Housing Authority are proposing to join forces in a novel move aimed at preserving low-income housing and increasing services and opportunities for families with rent subsidies in both cities.
The Cambridge Health Alliance’s proposed budget for the next 12 months forecasts little or no growth in visits to its hospitals and doctors and anticipates ending the year barely in the black: a gain of $500,000. It’s a major departure from budgets in recent years.
Efforts to prevent cuts to a program that helps lower-income people pay medical bills have failed, potentially affecting patients at the Cambridge Health Alliance and other hospitals that serve large numbers of uninsured and underinsured people.
Public housing officials are encountering unpleasant, expensive surprises as they modernize and rebuild hundreds of apartments with a goal of preserving low-income housing for decades. In some cases, the unexpected discoveries have exhausted contingency funds.