help_outline Skip to main content

News / Articles

Watch recording of Lunch with the League: Lead Poisoning Prevention in St. Joseph County

Published on 10/13/2023

Watch on YouTube

: Lead Poisoning continues to be a significant and devastating problem in our community, especially among very young children. While great strides have been made to educate and create awareness about this problem, children are still not being tested for lead poisoning and families are unaware of available resources. The Lead Affinity Group, a community coalition of civil servants, health providers, educators, researchers, and community leaders, will be conducting community presentations this fall to raise awareness and education. The focus of the presentation is three-fold: (a) to educate the community about lead poisoning, (b) to share recent, important policy changes in Indiana that will help children and families, and (c) to provide information about resources that are locally available. After viewing this presentation, participants will have a deeper understanding of the lead poisoning problem in our community and be able to advocate for community and organizational action.


Speaker: Heidi Beidinger-Burnett, Associate Professor of the Practice at the Eck Institute for Global Health, University of Notre Dame


Speaker’s Bio: With a Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois­-Chicago and a PhD in Educational Leadership and Organizational Analysis from Western Michigan University, Heidi has developed a broad background in public health, policy, community-based research and leadership. She undertook various leadership roles with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 13 years. She developed an expertise in STDs/HIV, correctional healthcare, and surveillance and monitoring programs focused on improving screening and treatment programs in Chicago correctional facilities and hospitals. Beidinger-Burnett also worked as a consultant in K-12 education for nearly 10 years. At Notre Dame, she focuses her research on public health and policy by developing partnerships with communities, organizations and government in St. Joseph County and throughout Indiana.   Most recently her research is focused on lead poisoning prevention. Beidinger co-founded the Notre Dame Lead Innovation Team and the St. Joseph County Lead Affinity Group, a community coalition. Her research has found that over 75% of pre-1950 homes screened for lead in St. Joseph County were found to have at least one lead hazard. Her team has conducted research that led to the development a Lead Screening Kit. The kit is a low-cost, user friendly tool to help families identify lead hazards in their home environment. The kit has been validated and has shown to be 96% accurate in identifying lead. With new acquired funding, the kit will be scaled up throughout St. Joseph, Marian, Vigo and Vermillion Counties in Indiana.