FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 01, 2012
HHC Hospitals in Brooklyn and the Bronx Receive Up To $1.8 MillionState Grant to Improve Asthma Care Coordination and Health Outcomes For Patients
Woodhull and Lincoln Hospitals Will Lead Community Based Coalitions to identify high risk asthma patients and link them to care
New York, NY - The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) has been awarded up to $1.8 million in New York State Department of Health funding to help create two community-based coalitions designed to improve the quality of life of individuals with asthma and reduce the burden of the disease among high-risk communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The awards were granted to Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center and Woodhull Medical Center, which are located in counties with high rates of asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits.
The funds will be used to identify and monitor high-risk populations for asthma, help increase access to asthma care and services, expand community-based asthma education programs, create asthma-friendly environments, and reduce asthma related hospitalizations and emergency department visits in the respective communities served by Lincoln and Woodhull. Each hospital will receive up to $900,000 over the next five years to organize regional networks of community stakeholders. The grant recipients will receive initial awards of $180,000 for a 12-month period, and may qualify for additional awards up to the $900,000 maximum.
“Asthma continues to be a common disease among New York City's children and adults, and the communities served by Lincoln and Woodhull hospitals are disproportionally affected,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “This new funding will help us identify poorly controlled high risk asthmatic patients and improve the coordination of their care by working with other community-based organizations who also touch the lives of our patients and share our mission to keep them healthy and out of the hospital.”
“This comprehensive approach, which engages the patient, the community, and elected officials in reducing the burden of asthma in the South Bronx, offers an exceptional opportunity for Lincoln Hospital to lead the effort in eradicating barriers to asthma management and treatment.” said Mrs. Iris Jimenez-Hernandez, Network Senior Vice President and Lincoln Hospital Executive Director. “I look forward to working with the Bronx RESPIRAR Coalition partners to develop a strong regional network and formulate effective strategies that will ultimately reduce asthma related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, school absenteeism and improve the quality of life of those affected with asthma."
“This new asthma grant will enable the Woodhull Asthma Team to continue to improve asthma outcomes for our patients and expand outreach to those most at risk for asthma - our youth and older adults. As a community hospital, we are proud of this award and the recognition of the exemplary service we provide to the communities of North Brooklyn,” said George M. Proctor, Senior Vice President for the HHC North and Central Brooklyn Health Networks that includes Woodhull Hospital.
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs and according to the New York State Department of Health it affects an estimated 1.5 million adults and 491,000 children in New York State alone. More than 162,000 emergency department visits and over 39,000 hospitalizations occur each year due to asthma. The total cost of asthma hospitalizations in New York in 2009 was approximately $652 million. In addition, asthma has led to children missing more than 1.9 million days of daycare, pre-school or school annually.
Lincoln Medical Center will lead the Bronx RESPIRAR Coalition
The new state grant will help Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center to lead the development of The Bronx RESPIRAR Coalition (BRC). RESPIRAR, which means Breathe in Spanish, is also an acronym for resources, education, self management, prevention, and integration to reduce asthma rates. The coalition will include other HHC and non-HHC healthcare organizations in the Bronx, local social service agencies, local elected officials and multiple community and faith-based organizations. Under the leadership of Lincoln Hospital, they will create a five year strategic plan to meet the coalition’s asthma fighting-goals. They will also coordinate care for high risk asthma patients through the intervention of a high risk asthma care team comprised of care managers, peer educators and pharmacists. The coalition will also create an asthma patient registry from Lincoln Hospital’s advanced electronic medical records system to enhance communication and coordination of care across the health delivery system, monitor a patient’s response to treatment, and evaluate clinical outcomes. In addition, members of the coalition will enlist the support of elected officials and health departments to introduce policies and promote environmental changes that will reduce the asthma burden in the community.
Woodhull Medical Center will lead the North Brooklyn Asthma Action Alliance
Woodhull Medical Center will use the grant funds to expand the mission of its current asthma coalition, the North Brooklyn Asthma Action Alliance (NBAAA), to improve asthma outcomes among two populations at risk: children under the age of 17 and older adults age 65 and older. The coalition includes representatives of health plans and providers, government health and environmental agencies, nonprofits, coalitions, schools and other community organizations. This network is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Alliance utilizes the chronic care health model in a comprehensive, family-centered approach to asthma care. The asthma care team consists of physicians, asthma care coordinators, health educators and community health workers, and maintains a special asthma registry of all asthma patients encountered. Under the leadership of Woodhull Hospital, the coalition will work with local schools and senior community centers to target this at-risk population. They will focus on providing appropriate education to empower both young people and seniors with asthma to work in partnership with their healthcare providers through group sessions where participants learn about asthma, its symptoms, triggers, treatment, and management. In addition, the coalition will work with senior center administration, staff, and members, to draft and implement guidelines that will result in creating an asthma friendly environment.