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Amazing Stories: Yeniset Estrella

Yeniset Estrella Headshot

NewYork-Presbyterian’s community-based preventive health program is helping one local mother and her children stay healthy.

Yeniset Estrella was worried about her children’s health when she brought them to NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network Broadway Practice in Washington Heights more than 20 years ago. Battling a severe mold infestation in her apartment, Yeniset says her children developed asthma and rashes.

“My family has no history of either,” she says. Mold and mildew — types of fungus that is spread through the air — are often found in homes. Thriving in moist environments, mold and mildew spreads quickly and can grow on a variety of surfaces. Everyone breathes in mold spores, but some have allergic reactions or develop respiratory issues because of mold in the air. To limit allergens in her home, Yeniset hired a professional home cleaner, scrubbed all surfaces where mold may grow, and bought air purifiers. But the mildew remained.

She eventually moved but was concerned that irreparable damage had already been done. At the Ambulatory Care Network, Yeniset’s fears were allayed, and she was introduced to a series of programs that would help her and her children get and stay healthy.

“When you go there, you know you are going to get the help that you need,” she says. “They guide you through every step and won’t let you leave until you understand the medicine you’re going to use and know what to expect next.”

Yeniset participates in the Washington Heights-Inwood Network (WIN) Program for Asthma, which was created to provide families with tools needed to control asthma. In Northern Manhattan, where Yeniset lives, the rate of childhood asthma is more than three times the national average, according to the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.

Through the WIN Program, the rate of hospitalizations, emergency department visits, missed school days, and symptom days have significantly decreased.

“They worry about the children — but they not only care about your child, they also care about how you feel and how you are managing,” Yeniset says. “The doctors try to minimize the worry you feel as a parent.”

To learn more about the Ambulatory Care Network, visit nyp.org.