Senator José M. Serrano joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Borough President Scott M. Stringer today to announce the opening of the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence walk-in facility. With over 25% of the area’s children suffering from the condition, East Harlem has the highest rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations in New York City. The new center, which is part of the City’s PlaNYC initiative, aims to reduce these hospitalizations by 50 percent over the next five years.
“As we continue to formulate strategies for improving air quality in a community that has long suffered disproportionately from air pollution, we welcome this walk-in center to the neighborhood as a breath of fresh air for the many families who need assistance preventing, managing and treating this condition,” said Senator Serrano.
The walk-in center will offer asthma related services free of charge, including on-site assessments, individual and group asthma education, social support services, intensive one-on one asthma counseling, referrals for medical care, and linkage to services to rid homes of asthma-triggering pests and mold. It will also include a library with educational materials and computers with internet access to help families learn the best asthma-managing strategies.
Over the last two years, the East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence has been based out of the East and Central Harlem District Public Health Office, and has trained more than 1,200 children and caregivers to manage asthma. It has also provided home environmental services for 465 families.
The East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence has been one of the key projects of Go Green East Harlem, an initiative spearheaded by Borough President Stringer that aims to improve public health, increase the availability of healthy foods, and promotes sustainable living, among other goals. Senator Serrano, who is on the Go Green East Harlem Steering Committee, said that the new center is a key step to establishing a healthier community.
“We must take a comprehensive approach to combating asthma in our communities. As a supporter of both Go Green East Harlem and the Mayor’s PlaNYC, which aims to reduce harmful pollutants from our air, I view this walk-in center as a reassuring indication that we are attacking this condition from all sides," said Serrano. "I applaud Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Stringer, the New York City Health Department, and all those who helped make this much-needed center a reality for the residents of East Harlem."
The East Harlem Asthma Center of Excellence walk-in center is located at 161-168 East 110th Street (between 3rd and Lexington Avenues), and welcomes families from across the city.