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HUD Awards $549,000 to the New York Academy of Medicine to Combat Asthma in Children

(From left to right) Congressman Charles Rangel; Ray Lopez, LSA Family Service; Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, New York Academy of Medicine; Adolfo Carrión; John Rhea, New York City Housing Authority; Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito; and, Jon Gant, HUD's Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control

HUD Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión recently announced that The New York Academy of Medicine was awarded a three-year, $549,000 grant, in partnership with Little Sisters of the Assumption (LSA) Family Health Service, to improve indoor environmental conditions and promote education and medical services for asthmatic children and other residents of East Harlem living in public and assisted multifamily housing. This was the first time HUD ever awarded a grant to combat indoor conditions that exacerbate asthma.

"Homes with health hazards such as mold, dust and poor ventilation can injure children and worsen conditions such as asthma, and HUD wants to ensure that children have a healthy place to call home," Carrión said. "This grant will not only help to clean up this type of health hazard, but will support the development of innovative new approaches to improve and control asthma in children."

The New York Academy of Medicine was awarded funding under HUD's Asthma Interventions in Public and Assisted Multifamily Program. The project aims to improve the health and quality of life of East Harlem children (age 17 and under) with severe and/or persistent asthma through innovative approaches to mitigating asthma triggers through home visits as well as workshops, comprehensive case management, education, training, and a remediation program focused on improving indoor air quality and eliminating household environmental conditions that exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Approximately 18.5% of East Harlem children ages 4-5 have asthma, double the New York City and national prevalence rate; 23% of children ages 5-12 in the area suffer from asthma; students of Puerto Rican descent approach 35%. Asthma is now recognized as a leading cause of school and work absences, emergency room visits and hospitalizations among low-income minority populations in communities like East Harlem. 

Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Services, Inc., a community-based, non-profit organization devoted to improving the lives of East Harlem residents, is partnering with NYAM on this project and has been tackling the problems and consequences of asthma for years. The HUD grant supports CAHR, which takes an innovative approach to targeting the causes and triggers of asthma in public housing through home visits by trained LSA community health workers. The program will help reduce or eliminate household environmental conditions that exacerbate asthma symptoms such as mold, poor ventilation, pest infestation (roaches, bedbugs, and rodents), house dust and second-hand smoke.


Content Archived: December 3, 2013

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