State Health Department Awards $7.2 Million to Combat Asthma

Eight regional coalitions receive grants to improve the quality of life for individuals with asthma

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 22, 2012) - State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., today announced that eight regional coalitions have been awarded State grants totaling up to $7.2 million over five years to provide asthma services to high-risk populations and reduce the burden of asthma in New York communities.

The grant recipients will receive initial awards of $180,000 for a 12-month period, and may qualify for additional awards up to a maximum of $900,000 over five years.

The awards will support regional coalition efforts 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 and help manage care to improve health outcomes for individuals with asthma. The coalitions will engage local stakeholders and apply a systems approach to implement the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, Expert Panel Report-3 Asthma Guideline recommendations (

"Asthma has become an epidemic that impairs the quality of life of those with the disease," Commissioner Shah said. "These grants will provide critical resources to control asthma, which will help people with asthma live healthier, more active lives and also lower the financial burden associated with the disease."

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs that 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.

The State Health Department's Asthma Program offers an extensive range of evidence-based interventions to improve asthma outcomes and decrease the burden of asthma throughout the State. Initiatives include: large-scale health care and community system change interventions to improve asthma care and management; policies to reduce asthma disparities; communication and education programs to raise awareness about asthma and its diagnosis, treatment and management; and a sophisticated asthma surveillance system to track the scope of the disease in the State and help to formulate state or local strategies.

The grant recipients are:

Coalition County
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Bronx
Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center Albany, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Schenectady
Western New York Public Health Alliance Erie
American Lung Association of New York, Inc Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Westchester
HHC/Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center Kings
American Lung Association of New York, Inc. Nassau, Suffolk
The New York Presbyterian Hospital New York
American Lung Association of New York, Inc. Queens

For additional information about asthma, visit the Department of Health web site at: