PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Nita Lowey (D - Westchester/Rockland) announced new federal funding for asthma research and training for school nurses and teachers at a press conference held at Port Chester Middle School on Monday.
Port Chester Superintendent Dr. Edward A. Kliszus revealed that efforts by the schools with their partner Open Door Family Medical Centers, have resulted in a great reduction in asthma related absences thanks to a program initiated in 2010. The school reported 376 asthma-related absences in 2010 versus only 28 in 2014.
“With so many children in New York hospitalized every year for asthma attacks, I’m pleased to announce that our local school districts now have access to this federal grant funding to develop, implement, and evaluate school asthma management plans.” Gillibrand said in a statement. “With nearly 1 in 11 children in our state and in 12 children across the country now suffering from asthma, we have to make sure our schools have the resources to prepare for and prevent asthma attacks."
The district is pushing harder in its efforts with in-school student “self-management” programs, parent programs and Asthma 101 and emergency education sessions for administrators, staff, coaches and families. In addition, the district has initiated a policy to end the idling of vehicles on its property and has changed its cleaning products to reduce VOCs in school buildings.
“It is critical that we provide schools with the resources to respond to a child’s asthma episode,” Lowey said. “Asthma is the leading chronic disease among children, and can lead to adverse consequences beyond health, such as missed class time and school days. I’m glad portions of Senator Gillibrand’s School Asthma Management Plan Act were signed into law and will allow states and school districts to bolster their asthma treatment plans."