Lung Association Awarded Grant to Help Rochester Residents Improve Indoor Air Quality, Fight Asthma

(July 26, 2012)

The American Lung Association of the Northeast  announced that it has been awarded $5,000 in funding from the Marie C. & Joseph C. Wilson Foundation. The funding will support the implementation of the Master Home Environmentalist© program in Rochester, New York.

The Master Home Environmentalist (MHE) program uses a novel, volunteer-driven approach that empowers residents to reduce their exposure to indoor environmental pollutants.  The central part of the MHE program is the collaboration between an MHE trained volunteer and the resident that has a child with asthma.  The MHE volunteer performs an integrated, no cost in-home assessment to evaluate the presence of pesticides, allergens, molds, tobacco smoke, lead and household chemicals that can negatively impact lung health, and provides recommendations to limit the families exposure. 

“We’re grateful that the Marie C. & Joseph C. Wilson Foundation has chosen to support the Lung Association by helping us nurture and expand this program” said Jeff Seyler, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Northeast.  “By educating residents about indoor air quality and arming them with the information they need to reduce asthma triggers in the home environment, we’re helping to reduce the burden of asthma in our community.”

Seyler noted that in New York State 1,482,650 adults (9.8 percent) and 434,404 children (10 percent) suffer from asthma, a chronic inflammation of the airways. Asthma breathing problems usually happen in "episodes" or attacks but the inflammation underlying asthma is continuous. It is one of the most common chronic disorders in childhood and can be life-threatening if not properly managed. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and is a leading cause of school absenteeism.

“The Foundation is proud to support the Lung Association’s work with the MHE program,” said Megan Bell, Executive Director of the Marie & Joseph C. Wilson Foundation.  “We hope that simple, cost-effective steps can be taken to ease the stress of asthma on families, and reduce school absenteeism among children suffering from the illness.  Our mission is to create a sense of belonging within the family and the community.  Programs like MHE can help families proactively improve their lives.”