Asthma Identified as a Leading Cause of School Absences
United Way Launches Pioneering Program in Most-Affected Neighborhoods
With Support From NYC Dept. of Health and Board of Education
NEW YORK, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- United Way of New York City (UWNYC) announced today a pioneering program that teaches parents and children how to better treat and manage asthma, one of the leading causes of student absenteeism in city schools. The Asthma Education Initiative, aimed at increasing parent and child awareness, knowledge and control of childhood asthma, will begin with a pilot program within three schools that experience high incidences of asthma; PS 153 in Washington Heights, PS 65 in the South Bronx and PS 309 in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. "With New York City having such a high rate of hospitalization for children with asthma and with the resulting absentee rate, the Asthma Education Initiative is a critical step in addressing both the health and educational needs of our children's future," said Digna Sanchez, vice president for educational services at United Way of New York City. The program is funded by The Starr Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the United States, and is supported by both the New York City Department of Health and the Board of Education. Three community-based organizations have been selected to work with the schools and families to facilitate the program: Urban Health Plan, Caribbean Women's Health Association and Community Healthcare Network. How The Asthma Education Initiative Works A Resource Referral Specialist will be assigned to work directly with the schools to facilitate the scheduling of workshops and project activities. Each school will also receive the services of a Community Health Educator, trained by the NYC Department of Health, who will conduct the workshops, train the school staff and work closely with families to ensure that they understand and take preventative measures. Each of the pilot schools involved is a member of United Way's Community Achievement Project in the Schools (CAPS), which combines the efforts of schools and community-based organizations (CBOs) to develop services to motivate students to stay in school. Over the past 11 years CAPS has developed a broad network of programs in 167 New York City public schools, providing the Asthma Education Initiative with a springboard for its launch. The Asthma Education Initiative Advisory Committee is comprised of: Dr. Patricia Hazelwood, Chairperson of Community Health Education at Kingsborough College; Dr. Rosa M. Gil, University Dean for Health Sciences at the City University of New York; Louise Cohen, MPH, Director of Community Programs of NYC Childhood Asthma Initiative; Florence A. Davis, President of the Staff Foundation; Jill E. Schmier, Director of School Health of the American Cancer Society; and Rami Bachiman, Director of Programs for the American Lung Association. About United Way UWNYC is a volunteer-directed organization committed to helping New York's most vulnerable citizens become and remain self-sufficient. UWNYC funds a network of the most effective human service nonprofits in the five boroughs, and mounts collaborative initiatives, like CAPS, to address the community's most pressing human care needs. United Way of New York City's work is made possible by the 2,000 companies and 300,000 individuals who contribute to its annual campaign. MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X82701449
SOURCE United Way of New York City
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