New York State Department of Health Awards NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Grant to Combat Childhood Asthma

Mar 19, 2012


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the recipient of a five-year grant, totaling up to $900,000, from the New York State Department of Health to reduce the asthma burden in New York City.

New York-Presbyterian will build upon its successful Washington Heights/Inwood Network (WIN) for Asthma program to reach and support those children with the most poorly controlled asthma who often frequent the hospital and emergency department. The new Washington Heights/Inwood Network-Best Asthma Care for Kids (WIN-BACK) program aims to provide the best care for inner-city children suffering from chronic asthma and to reduce asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

"We are especially grateful to the state Department of Health for recognizing our efforts to make a difference in the lives of families who struggle with asthma and for giving us this opportunity to expand our WIN for Asthma program to serve those families with the greatest need," says Jaclyn Mucaria, senior vice president of ambulatory care and patient-centered services at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

NewYork-Presbyterian is one of eight institutions or coalitions statewide to receive this grant to battle asthma. The state Department of Health set aside a total of $7.2 million for programs to control asthma through a regional, population-based sustainable systems approach. The Hospital will receive $180,000 in 2012 and up to a total of $900,000 over five years for this mission.

"Asthma has become an epidemic that impairs the quality of life of those with the disease," says State Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav R. Shah. "These grants will provide critical resources to control asthma, which will help people with asthma live healthier, more active lives and also lower the financial burden associated with the disease."

Childhood asthma rates in Northern Manhattan are three times the national average. The disease disproportionately affects minorities, families with low-education attainment, and those who reside in low-income communities. To combat this major public health problem, the Ambulatory Care Network at NewYork-Presbyterian, Columbia University, and the community of Washington Heights/Inwood partnered in 2005 to establish the WIN for Asthma program to improve outcomes for children with poorly controlled asthma. Community-based, bilingual health workers partner with caregivers to offer ongoing support, education and referrals for clinical and social resources. All families of children admitted to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital with a diagnosis of asthma are automatically referred to the one-year program.

"The impact is clear," says Robert Guimento, vice president of the Ambulatory Care Network at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. "Among WIN for Asthma graduates, hospitalizations and emergency department visits decreased by more than 50 percent, and nearly 100 percent of graduates state that they feel in control of their child's asthma by the end of the program."

The state Department of Health grant enables NewYork-Presbyterian, Columbia University, and community partners to build upon WIN for Asthma's successes and establish an expanded model that emphasizes the emergency department as the focal point in identifying children with poorly controlled asthma. The grant also enables these children and their families to be connected to a medical home and to the support of a community health worker.

"This grant will also allow the Pediatric Emergency Department to initiate optimal chronic asthma care by transitioning patients to a long-term outpatient medical home for their asthma," says Dr. Maria Kwok, pediatric emergency medical physician at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In this expanded program, a nurse practitioner will bring a one-of-a-kind, NewYork-Presbyterian–developed "Asthma Clinical Education Device," a computerized kiosk similar in size to a laptop, to the patient's bedside to work with asthmatic children who come to the emergency department. The device gathers information from the caregiver to assess the child's asthma severity, offer treatment options and a plan of action. The device software is bilingual and is tailored to use language that matches the literacy level of the caregivers. This nurse practitioner will also provide transitional asthma care until the patient finds a suitable medical home for asthma. This will ensure that there is continuity of asthma care upon discharge from the emergency department.

"We look forward to strengthening our resources to provide enhanced asthma care and support children with poorly controlled asthma and their families, which will reduce the burden of asthma in our communities," says Jaclyn Mucaria.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, based in New York City, is the nation's largest not-for-profit, non-sectarian hospital, with 2,353 beds. The Hospital has nearly 2 million inpatient and outpatient visits in a year, including more than 220,000 visits to its emergency departments — more than any other area hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine at five major centers: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division. One of the most comprehensive health care institutions in the world, the Hospital is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area and is consistently ranked among the best academic medical institutions in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The Hospital has academic affiliations with two of the nation's leading medical colleges: Weill Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit

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