Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center: Asthma Services

The Harlem Neighborhood Health Action Center has several programs that offer free counseling, education and other support services for children with asthma. Our services can also help asthma health care providers help their patients, as well as improve their own practices.

Many of these services are offered through the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence, which is located at 161-169 East 110th Street (between 3rd and Lexington Avenues). The center is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Counseling Families

The Center provides asthma counselors to help children aged 17 and younger who reside in East and Central Harlem and have poorly controlled asthma. All counselors are Master's level social workers. They can:

  • Talk with families about their child’s asthma-related needs.
  • Teach families how to help their child’s asthma become well-controlled by:
    • Recognizing asthma symptoms and triggers.
    • Understanding asthma medications and how to use them correctly.
    • Following an asthma action plan.
    • Coordinating care with school health services and primary care providers or specialists.
  • Suggest environmental interventions for mold, pests, and tobacco smoke.
  • Refer families with social and behavioral health challenges to needed services.
  • Hold fun and free events for children, such as arts and crafts and winter holiday activities

Our counselors are stationed at Metropolitan Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence.

Education in Schools, Child Care Centers, Hospitals and Homes

Open Airways in Schools

The American Lung Association’s Open Airways in Schools program provides nurses to teach asthma education at school to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. This program aims to help children better control their asthma and stay in school.

Managing Asthma in Daycares

Asthma health educators train participating early child care centers to:

  • Identify children with asthma.
  • Connect families to local resources for support and additional care.
  • Teach center staff and families about asthma and how to control symptoms.
  • Reduce asthma triggers.

Community Health Workers Case Management at Home

This program is available for patients who are enrolled at Woodhull Medical Center and Lincoln Medical Center. Community Health Workers can visit families where they live to:

  • Find potential asthma triggers in homes and get rid of those triggers.
  • Talk about asthma medications and how to use them correctly.
  • Help families understand how to follow an asthma action plan that was provided by their doctor.
  • Connect families with primary care providers or specialists in local hospitals.

Integrated Pest Management Services at Home

Exterminators come to homes of children with asthma to show them non-toxic ways to control rodents and roaches, which can trigger an attack. They also provide education on green-cleaning practices.

Additional Trainings and Presentations

We also offer other educational services upon request, including professional trainings, free asthma workshops and asthma awareness presentations at health fairs and other community events.

Services for Community-Based Organizations and Health Care Providers

The Harlem Asthma Network is a coalition of 30 clinical and community-based pediatric asthma care providers in East and Central Harlem, Washington Heights and the Bronx.

The Harlem Asthma Network:

  • Hosts quarterly forums to discuss best practices and other topics in pediatric asthma management.
  • Helps connect clinical and community-based services among providers, schools and neighborhood groups.
  • Advises public health leaders on legislation and policies that can improve asthma outcomes.

Additional Resources

More Information