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Flint doc: “I actually feel like I’m writing prescriptions for hope these days”

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha



It has been a year now since Michigan and the world learned that the lead levels of children living in areas of Flint has doubled, even tripled.

It was September 2015 when pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha braved the scorn of certain state employees to present her stunning research findings that proved that elevated lead levels in Flint children correlated to the the switch to Flint River water.

"We are now actually in our third year in Flint of water that we can still not drink."


As we know by now, the dismissive state officials were wrong, and Hanna-Attisha was right.

Hanna-Attisha joined us today to take a look at what’s changed since she called attention to the water crisis in Flint.

“We are now actually in our third year in Flint of water that we can still not drink,” she said. “So despite sounding the alarm a year ago, despite our residents being on this contaminated water since April of 2014, we do not have safe water in Flint."

"A lot has happened in terms of improving the water quality, notifying residents of the danger of the water, getting filters and bottled water out there, but we are yet unable to drink water from out tap.”


She told us she hears from families “every single day” who want to know what’s going to happen to their children after being exposed to contaminated water for so long.


"I try to provide a lot of reassurance and a lot of hope," she said. "I actually feel like I'm writing prescriptions for hope these days."


"I'm trying to empower our families and our beautiful children that they have a future full of hope. And I tell them that, hey, we can't take this away, and we don't know what's going to happen to your kids, but we're so hopeful that their future is going to be even brighter than their past because of the interventions that we are bringing in."

In our conversation above, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha tells us more about how Flint has changed and challenges the city still faces.

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