Healthy Homes Essentials

  • Format: online
  • Days to complete Days to complete: 365
The purpose of the course is to help you understand the connection between health and housing and how to take a holistic approach to identify and resolve problems which threaten the health and well-being of residents. It identifies root causes of health problems in a home and links them to eight principles of healthy housing: keep it dry, keep it clean, keep it pest-free, keep it ventilated, keep it safe, keep it contaminant-free, keep it maintained, and keep it thermally controlled.

Instructor

Welcome to the Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners course!

This is a self-paced online course. You will move through the modules and review the materials independently. You will need to complete each module before moving onto the next one. Once you have completed all of the modules, you will be able to take a final quiz and receive your certificate of completion. 

If you have any questions about the material presented or have any complications, please contact: 

Dr. Kandace Fisher-McLean

National Director - Healthy Homes Training Center and Network

Associate Extension Professor - Architectural Studies 

University of Missouri

[email protected]

 

Technical Requirements

For best performance, Canvas should be used with the most current release of Google Chrome or Safari (Macintosh, only). Canvas will run on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser. Your computer operating system should be kept up to date with the latest recommended security updates and upgrades. 

Some other technical skills include: 

  • Knowledge of using Canvas
  • Sending and receiving an email with attachments
  • Downloading and installing software
  • Navigating multiple webpages simultaneously

See our Getting Started with Canvas page for short tutorial videos to provide an overview of Canvas.  When accessing your Canvas course from your mobile device, DO NOT use the Canvas Student App.

Access your course from your MU Extension account. For the best user experience, we recommend using  Google Chrome (70/71) as your browser (Safari 12.0.3 for Macintosh only).

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You can find more information on the technical requirements on the Canvas website.

 

Course Description

Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners

This course is an overview of healthy homes. We will cover a variety of topics, but most importantly you’ll learn about three things:

  • First, the connection between housing and health.
  • Second, the eight principles of a healthy home. While there is no recipe that can guarantee a healthy home, you’ll learn key principles that can help create healthier indoor environments.
  • Third, the importance of state and local laws that are related to healthy homes. We’ll review this tool that can help you in your healthy homes work.

There are 6 modules in this course with several subsections within each module. You will need to complete the material within each module before moving onto the next one. Once you have completed all of the modules, you will be able to take a final quiz and receive your certificate of completion. 

Purpose of this course:

  • Provide training for public health and housing practitioners in the assessment and treatment of housing related health hazards, with a focus on practical and cost-effective methods.
  • Promote cross training of public health and housing practitioners.

Key Messages: 

  • There is a link between housing and health.
  • Certain groups are at greater risk for adverse health effects.
  • There are basic public health and housing principles that can help us understand the link between housing and health.
  • The healthy homes movement is a holistic approach to promote health through better housing.
  • Codes and regulations are tools that can help you achieve healthier housing in your community.

Guiding Goals for Safe and Healthy Homes: 

Keep it Dry

  • Damp homes provide an environment for dust mites, roaches, rodents and molds.
  • They can cause or worsen asthma, and pests can transmit disease.
  • Moisture can damage the building materials in homes, including lead‐based paints. 

Keep it Clean

  • Clean homes reduce pest infestation and exposures to contaminants.

Keep it Pest Free

  • Exposure to pests such as roaches and rodents can trigger an asthma attack or cause other illnesses.

Keep it Well Ventilated

  • Having a good fresh air supply in homes is important to reduce exposure to indoor air pollutants and to increase respiratory health.

Keep it Safe

  • Injuries such as falls, burns and poisonings occur most often in the home, especially with children and seniors. 

Keep it Contaminate Free

  • Levels of contaminants such as lead, radon, carbon monoxide, asbestos, secondhand smoke and other chemicals are often much higher indoors. 

Keep it Maintained

  • Poorly maintained homes are at risk for moisture, pest problems, and injury hazards.
  • Deteriorated lead‐based paint is the primary cause of children being harmed by lead.  

Keep it Climate Controlled

  • Homes that do not have balanced and consistent temperatures may place families at increased risk from exposure to extreme cold, heat, and humidity.
  • Young children, older people, and those with chronic medical conditions are at most risk.

 

Objectives

Learning Objectives for each Module: 

 

     Module 1.1 - 1.4: The Connection between Health and Housing 

     1. Describe at least four housing conditions and the health problems 

         associated with them.

     2. Demonstrate how to characterize risk using the epidemiological triangle.

     3. Identify three populations that may be at higher risk for housing related 

         disease and injury.

     4. Identify three important housing systems that contribute to a comfortable 

         living space.

     5. Identify three types of codes that can be used to enforce remediation of 

         housing-based health threats.

 

     Module 1.5 - 1.6: Using Evidence and Codes to Support your Work

     1. Describe the five levels of certainty which demonstrate the strength of 

         scientific evidence in a particular relationship. 

     2. Identify examples of sound research and good data to guide your actions as 

         a healthy homes practitioner. 

 

     Module 1.7 - 1.9: Start with People 

     1. Explain how to work with people to get important information from them 

         about potential hazards in the home.

     2. Identify key routes of exposure and their relationship to housing hazards.

 

     Module 1.10 - 1.11: House as a System

     1. Identify three important housing systems that contribute to a comfortable 

         living space. 

 

     Module 1.12: A Home Needs to Be

     1. Explain the three steps an individual must take to be an effective healthy 

         homes professional. 

 

     Module 2.1 - 2.3: Keep It Dry
     1. Name three health hazards in the home that are related to excessive 

         moisture.
     2. Identify four sources of moisture in the home.
     3. Describe five strategies for controlling moisture in the home.

 

     Module 2.4 - 2.6: Keep It Clean
     1. List three contaminants or allergens that are frequently found in house dust 

         and their health effects.
     2. Describe three ways allergens or contaminants get into house dust.
     3. Identify at least three strategies to reduce allergens or contaminants in 

         house dust.

 

     Module 3.1 - 3.3: Keep It Pest-Free
     1. Name three illnesses or injuries associated with pest infestation.
     2. Identify three clues of pest infestation.
     3. Identify the three strategies associated with an IPM approach.
     4. Name two illegal pesticides that may be used in the home.

 

     Module 3.4 - 3.6: Keep It Ventilated
     1. Name five unhealthful conditions associated with poor ventilation.
     2. List five things in a household that need ventilation.
     3. Name three things that power airflow in a building.
     4. List at least three household contaminants that can be removed by 

         ventilation.
     5. Describe two ways ventilation reduces air contaminant levels.

 

     Module 4.1 - 4.3: Keep It Safe

     1. Explain the difference between an injury and an accident.
     2. Name the three most common home injury related causes of death.
     3. Name five locations to look for safety hazards in the home.
     4. Name five ways to prevent home injury.

 

     Module 4.4 - 4.6: Keep It Contaminant-Free
     1. Identify at least four contaminants in the home and strategies to prevent, 

         contain or control them.
     2. Describe at least four ways that contaminants get into the home.
     3. Identify at least three health effects and their associated contaminant.

 

     Module 5.1 - 5.3: Keep It Maintained
     1. Name at least three systems that require ongoing maintenance.
     2. Identify two maintenance actions that require the use of a professional.

 

     Module 5.4 - 5.6: Keep It Climate-Controlled

     1. Explain why a balance of energy efficiency and adequate ventilation is 

         necessary in a home. 

     2. Describe the importance of using energy audits, programmable thermostats, 

         and Energy Star appliances. 

     3. Demonstrate actions that residents can take to improve air circulation.

     4. Identify resident actions that can affect energy use and indoor air quality. 

     5. Explain that dangers of extreme (hot and cold) temperatures. 

     6. Describe the health risks associated with heating and cooling systems that 

         do not work properly. 

 

     Module 6.1 - 6.3: Healthy Homes Program
     1. Explain why a partnership with the community is essential.
     2. Identify five important players involved in healthy homes issues.

 

Course Organization

There are 6 modules in this course. The first module builds the foundation for your work as a healthy homes professional. You will understand the importance of working with people, making sense of appropriate healthy homes research, and comprehending the core systems in a home. You should recognize that the healthy homes movement is a holistic approach to promote health through better housing.

The next 4 modules cover the core healthy homes principles. You will learn how each principle impacts individuals living in the home. Each module will be focused on how to identify health hazards in the home and how to develop solutions to fix and prevent those health hazards in the future.

Finally, the last module focuses on getting the most out of your work as a healthy homes professional, forming and maintaining partnerships, and leveraging funding and resources to help people improve the health and safety of their home environment. 

Each module will include:

  • Videos 
  • Interactive graphics 
  • Readings to enhance student understanding
  • Discussion Boards
  • Quizzes to check understanding

After all 6 modules are completed: 

  • You will be assessed by taking a final quiz. You will need to pass the quiz with a score of at least 80%. 
  • Once you have passed the quiz, you will have the opportunity to download a certificate of completion. 
  • You will also be able to take an anonymous course evaluation and demographic survey. 

 

Assignments

The assignment for each module includes watching videos, visiting external links provided to familiarize yourself with the various healthy homes resources, interacting with various graphics to enhance understanding, and participating in discussion and quizzes to demonstrate your mastery over the content presented.  Once you have completed each module, you will be able to take a final quiz ad receive your certificate of completion. 

 

Assessment and Grading 

Assignments will only be assessed on a complete/incomplete basis. This means that you will have to complete the assignment and quizzes in each module before you are able to move onto the next module. Once you have successfully completed each module, a final quiz will appear. Once you complete the final quiz and successfully pass with a score of at least 80%, you will be able to download your Certificate of Completion. You will also have the opportunity to fill out an anonymous course evaluation and demographic survey. 

 

Course Completion

This is a self-paced online course. Assignments will only be assessed on a complete/incomplete basis. You will move through the modules and review the materials independently. You will need to complete the materials within each module before moving onto the next one. Once you have completed all of the modules, you will be able to take a final quiz and receive your certificate of completion. 

 

Course Completion Certificate

When you have successfully completed Essentials for Healthy Homes Practitioners, you will be able to access, view and download your course completion certificate. You can reprint your certificate or print a PDF transcript of your MU Extension Canvas courses at any time by selecting Help from the Canvas global navigation menu.
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Acknowledgements 

This course is offered by the National Healthy Homes Training Center and Network at the University of Missouri. The National Healthy Homes Training Center and Network is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD has been funding the National Healthy Homes Training Center and Network since 2003.

We work together as healthy homes professionals to: 

  • Bring together public health and housing practitioners to promote practical and cost-effective methods for making homes healthier.
  • Serve as a forum for exchanging information on new research and best practices.

 

Accommodations

If you anticipate barriers related to the format or requirements of this course, or if disability-related accommodations are necessary (for example, extended time on exams, materials in an alternate format), please notify your instructor or contact Canvas Support.

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Extension resources