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Health Coalition of Passaic County received grant from the Nicholson Foundation to launch asthma in-home intervention pilot project

Contact: Kimberly Birdsall
973) 754-4403
Contact: Carly O'Brien



Program Deploys Community Health Workers to Identify and
Reduce Asthma Triggers in the Home

PATERSON, NJ, NOVEMBER 14, 2017 -- The Health Coalition of Passaic County (HCPC) announced today that it has been awarded a $210,000 grant from The Nicholson Foundation to implement the New Jersey Asthma In-Home Intervention Pilot Project – a new evidence-based intervention serving children ages 2-17 enrolled in NJFamilyCare. The goal of the project is to improve asthma outcomes while reducing overall healthcare costs.

“We are honored to work with The Nicholson Foundation, other grantee organizations and our Passaic County community partners on this innovative project,” said Kimberly Birdsall, executive director of the Health Coalition of Passaic County. “More than 10 percent of children in Passaic County under the age of 18 are asthmatic, and many of those children have asthma that is not controlled. This project presents an opportunity to address individualized in-home asthma triggers so families can better manage their child’s asthma and improve their overall quality of life.”

An estimated 173,858 of New Jersey’s children have asthma. Asthma attacks are triggered by environmental factors such as dust, mold and roaches in homes, schools and workplaces. In 2015, there were 1,516 hospitalizations for children younger than age 5 in New Jersey due to asthma, and 116 deaths among all age groups attributed to the disease.

Through the New Jersey Asthma In-Home Intervention Pilot Project, the HCPC and its partnering organizations will combat asthma by employing community health workers to deliver clinical asthma care and education programs. Community health workers are frontline public health workers, often from the communities they serve, who are trained to deliver preventive care. They will conduct in-home interventions, including environmental assessments, education and guidance on reducing asthma triggers that may cause asthma attacks and contribute to avoidable hospitalizations.

The New Jersey Department of Health and The Nicholson Foundation also are funding an evaluation of the pilot project, to be conducted at its conclusion. The evaluation will look at post-intervention changes in pediatric patients’ asthma control and evaluate the cost effectiveness of the intervention in order to determine its long-term sustainability, allowing the model to be widely adopted by other healthcare organizations.

“Asthma is a very manageable disease, and it is unacceptable for anyone to be dying of asthma in 2017,” said Arturo Brito, executive director of The Nicholson Foundation. “By integrating asthma in-home interventions with asthma clinical care, this project will give children and their families a chance to breathe easier and live healthier lives.”

The Health Coalition of Passaic County is one of four New Jersey healthcare organizations selected for this initiative. Other selected organizations include Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City, and a partnership made up of the Departments of Pediatrics at University Hospital and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and Rutgers University School of Nursing.

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About The Health Coalition of Passaic County (HCPC): The Health Coalition of Passaic County is led by a diverse 15 member Board of Community Organizations working to create a thriving and sustainable community coalition.  The HCPC is dedicated to significantly improve the health and overall quality of life for residents of the Greater Passaic County area.  For more information about the HCPC, visit   http://www.healthcoalitionpc.org/

About The Nicholson Foundation: The Nicholson Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in New Jersey. The Foundation’s approach emphasizes partnerships and performance-based grant making; its goal is sustainable systems reform. For more information about the Foundation, visit http://thenicholsonfoundation.org.

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