45 Families Graduate From NYC Childhood Asthma Program

NewYork-Presbyterian's WIN for Asthma Program Gives Families Tools to Prevent Acute Asthma Episodes That Can Lead to ER Visits and Missed School Days

May 13, 2008


After completing a yearlong asthma education program, 45 families are graduating with the tools they need to control their child's asthma, preventing acute episodes that can lead to emergency room visits and missed school days. The WIN (Washington Heights–Inwood Network) for Asthma Program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital serves families in northern Manhattan, where the childhood asthma rate is four times the national average.

The program's first annual graduation ceremony, presented in collaboration with the Northern Manhattan Asthma Basics for Children Initiative (ABC), takes place at 4:30 p.m. today at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian (3959 Broadway at 165th St.).

"I want to offer my hearty congratulations to the inaugural graduating class of the WIN for Asthma Program, who have shown the determination and dedication to gain control of asthma — helping to ensure that they enjoy healthy and happy times together as a family," says Cynthia Sparer, senior vice president and chief operating officer of women's, children's and community health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "I also want to salute the WIN for Asthma Program, who together with its community partners, have made this program a tremendous success."

WIN for Asthma reports that among the first group of graduates, hospitalizations were reduced by 85 percent, emergency room visits by 66 percent, and the number of missed school days was lowered by 42 percent.

The program recruits parents of children with asthma through their children's day care center or school, through referrals from community based organizations, through community health clinics — including NewYork-Presbyterian's Ambulatory Care Network, which provides care to more than 5,000 children with asthma every year — and through Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, where the community health workers conduct daily rounds.

Families receive a home environmental assessment, including the identification of any asthma triggers like cockroaches and cigarettes, and tips on how to create a more asthma-sensitive household. The program's community health workers also provide culturally sensitive bilingual education about asthma, and they support families to achieve their asthma-related goals. Additionally, referrals are made to no-cost services such as housing and immigration assistance or smoking cessation programs that have been shown to improve outcomes. The program has also trained more than 200 community physicians in proven asthma care and intervention protocols.

"We are very excited to recognize all of the graduates, who have overcome tremendous obstacles to control their children's asthma, and also to celebrate our community partnerships, without which we would be unable to offer the comprehensive clinical and social services needed by our families," says Patricia Peretz, program manager of WIN for Asthma at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian.

Asthma is a chronic condition that, while currently incurable, is treatable — with remissions commonplace. Triggers that cause asthma include allergens, emotional states, climate, environmental triggers and respiratory infections.

WIN for Asthma is a partnership between NewYork-Presbyterian's Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and its Ambulatory Care Network, with the Mailman School of Public Health, community based organizations, local schools and day-care centers, community pediatricians, community groups, a national child-health improvement organization (the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality — NICHQ), and government agencies. The program is funded by a four-year $2 million grant from Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc. (MCAN).

WIN for Asthma's key program partner is Northern Manhattan Asthma Basics for Children Initiative (ABC), a culturally sensitive community-based coalition whose goal is to screen and educate children and their families in 27 day care/Head Start centers and 12 elementary schools. Since the program began in 2002, it has enrolled more than 3,000 children locally with positive results, including gains in managing asthma. A bilingual ABC Handbook to train teachers about asthma is available nationally through the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

For more information, patients may call 866-NYP-NEWS.

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian

Ranked by U.S.News & World Report as one of the top 10 children's hospitals in the country, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian offers the best available care in every area of pediatrics — including the most complex neonatal and critical care, and all areas of pediatric subspecialties — in a family-friendly and technologically advanced setting. Building a reputation for more than a century as one of the nation's premier children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is affiliated with Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and is Manhattan's only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children and the largest provider of children's health services in the tri-state area with a long-standing commitment to its community. Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian is also a major international referral center, meeting the special needs of children from infancy through adolescence worldwide.

Media Contact:

Belinda Mager 212-305-5587