The Children’s RESPIRA (breathe) Education Program for Latino children with asthma has expanded in its second year to include Hudson, Morris, and Passaic counties, with funding from worldwide leading pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis, for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The bilingual program, operated by UMDNJ-NJ Medical School, teaches children and parents about asthma triggers, symptoms, and disease management. Each child receives an Asthma Action Plan to help to control asthma.
The incidence is rising in the inner cities of N.J., and Latino, particularly Puerto Rican, children have the highest rates of asthma, according to Evelyn Montalvo Stanton, RESPIRA director and assistant professor of Pediatrics at UMDNJ-NJ Medical School.
The program was started in 2006 with a grant from the Healthcare Foundation of N.J. Children participating in the program have reduced their rates of hospitalization by 97%; ED visits by 52%; and physicians office visits by 56%, says Stanley H. Weiss, professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at UMDNJ-NJ Medical School.