John Roberts

We are proud to acknowledge John Roberts as this year's American Lung Association Volunteer Excellence Award recipient in Program Innovation. John, through his commitment and efforts, has pioneered the American Lung Association of Washington educational program Master Home Environmentalist (MHE). He designed this program in 1991, along with a team of volunteers, after a study he conducted in the late 1980s as an engineer for the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency indicated home air quality levels were worse than outdoor air. To address this critical need for indoor air quality education for families in Washington, John and his team of volunteers developed the program to reduce household exposure to lead, allergens, pesticides, and carcinogens in the home. Volunteers attending the program become knowledgeable in a variety of indoor air quality issues. The program has successfully trained 500 volunteers to conduct home audits using the Home Environmental Assessment list (HEAL) and complete other community outreach activities.

Currently, more than 1,800 HEALS and 22 trainings have been conducted where volunteers have donated 5,500 hours in community service. "The MHE program works so well because everyone has a personal interest in their exposure. Nearly everyone wants to protect children and their own health. Showing people how to reduce total exposure and help others brings out strong motivation," says John. The American Lung Association of Washington is proud to have the MHE program recognized as a national American Lung Association Best Practice and a listed Best Practice by EPA, in addition to a local model program that is being duplicated regionally and nationally.