The area known as “Asthma alley” stretches from the South Bronx through East Harlem and into Western Queens in Long Island City. It has one of the highest childhood asthma rates in New York and is surrounded by manufacturing sites, bridges and transportation hubs. On March 28th, numerous partners recognizing the community’s need for effective asthma care and treatment solutions gathered to unveil a newly renovated pediatric asthma mobile unit.
“I was thrilled to celebrate the partnership among Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House, TransCanada and New York Hospital Queens and the dedication of the new Pediatric Asthma Mobile Unit, the first of its kind, which will be providing much-needed care for children in Long Island City’s Queensbridge Houses and other areas within Long Island City.”
– Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12)
For several years, New York Hospital Queens has partnered with Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement and TransCanada to host asthma screening and educational events to raise awareness of the disease. The mobile unit and asthma care program was funded by a $326,000 grant from TransCanada through the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
“By bringing treatment to children via a mobile clinic, we provide young patients with easy access to care. Too many times, the cost of care, securing appointments and finding a consistent source of care prevent children and their caregivers from successfully managing symptoms of asthma. We want to keep the children in our community healthy and help them prevent visits to the emergency room and hospitalization,” says Joseph Abularrage, M.D., chairman, Pediatrics, New York Hospital Queens.
The mobile unit is staffed by a comprehensive health care team, including a pulmonologist, pediatrician, respiratory therapist and social worker from the Pediatric Asthma Center at New York Hospital Queens. Dr. Hadi Jabbar, director of the Pediatric Asthma Center, will also be available to see patients.
“It is wonderful that families in this community now have immediate access to the highest quality treatment for their children,” says Congresswoman Maloney.
In New York City alone, about 177,000 children under the age of 12 have been diagnosed with asthma, a disease where the body’s airway narrows and swells causing shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. It is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism.
“In a community where access to pediatric asthma prevention and treatment services is severely limited, the mobile unit will provide a vital lifeline to young people and their families.”
– Christopher Hanway, Executive Director, Riis Settlement
Being a responsible leader in energy infrastructure also means leading in the community and in our business practices. As the operator of the Ravenswood Generating Station in Long Island City, TransCanada believes in being a good neighbor and supporting local initiatives like the pediatric mobile asthma unit.
“Both Riis Settlement and New York Hospital Queens have been exemplary stewards in making the public aware of the devastating effects that asthma is having on the population of Queens. They have been wonderful partners with TransCanada in the annual asthma screening and education event from its inception in 2009 and we are proud and excited to be involved in this vital service to the community.”
– Jasmin Bertovic, vice-president of Eastern Power, TransCanada
The mobile unit will be parked at Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement (10-25 41st Avenue, Long Island City, N.Y.) every Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments are preferred. Members of the community can make an appointment by calling 718-670-1920.
TransCanada takes an active role in responsible business practices by complementing our existing operations with emission-less energy sources. One-third of TransCanada’s growing energy portfolio includes facilities that produce electricity from emission-less sources and we specialize in building highly efficient natural gas-fired power plants that are helping North America’s transition to a less carbon-intensive electricity supply mix.