Tomball Regional Health Foundation awards American Lung Association grant for asthma education programs in local schools
(March 7, 2017) -
The Tomball Regional Health Foundation awarded the American Lung Association in Texas a $31,625 grant to launch and support its Texas Asthma Management in Schools Program. Starting in the 2017 spring semester, the initiative will provide asthma education and programing to school nurses, students and their caregivers in the independent school districts of Tomball, Klein, Magnolia and Waller.
“I brainstormed this program late last year and have been working on a sustainable grant,” said Dr. Rubina Abrol, asthma programs manager at the American Lung Association in Texas – Houston. “With the generous support from the Tomball Health Foundation, nurses in the Tomball, Klein, Magnolia and Waller school districts will have the proper training and resources to help any student who may have asthma or experience respiratory distress while at school.”
Asthma is a chronic disease that restricts airways and makes it difficult to breathe. In Texas, more than 541,000 children live with asthma, and pediatric asthma is the most common chronic childhood health problem. Students and their caregivers can manage asthma with education, medication and avoidance of triggers. The asthma program incorporates several American Lung Association education resources to train nurses so they can better support their students with asthma.
“As a registered nurse and certified asthma educator in the school setting, I know that asthma awareness is important for our community,” said Jamie Hernandez, a school nurse in the Klein Independent School District (ISD). “Asthma education tools and resources provided by the American Lung Association can help families prevent emergency room visits as well as general and intensive care hospitalizations. Quality education for parents and students on early symptom identification, use of an asthma action plan and recognition of uncontrolled asthma can decrease absenteeism, increase students’ ability to engage in the educational process and help Klein ISD reach its health and education goals for students.”
School nurses participating in the program will attend the Asthma Educator Institute on March 14 and 15 at the United Way of Greater Houston, and they will receive an asthma educator toolkit along with device demonstrations and educational resources. As part of the grant, nurses will receive preparation for the NAECB Certified Asthma Educator exam and a fee waiver if they chose to take the test. Additionally, nurses will be able to attend a one-day conference where Abrol will give trainings on asthma pathophysiology, emergency management, indoor air quality and identifying and reducing asthma triggers.
Also as part of the program, Abrol will present asthma education information at parent-teacher meetings and in-school services.
The Tomball Health Foundation grant is a one-year allocation, but Abrol said they will review the program at the end of the 2017 calendar year and decided if further training is needed.
“The American Lung Association offers high caliber training on asthma management and the Texas Asthma Management in Schools Program brings those resources straight to the school districts,” Abrol said. “We are excited to launch this program in the North Houston area and help students with asthma live a normal and healthy life.”
About the American Lung Association in Texas
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website: Lung.org.
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