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EPA Recognizes Bronx Community Health Center As National Model For Asthma Care

Bronx, New York — Urban Health Plan (UHP), a network of community health centers in the South Bronx and Corona, Queens, was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an outstanding national model for comprehensive asthma care. UHP was one of four organizations to receive the EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management.

“We are thrilled and honored to be recognized for our asthma management program by the Environmental Protection Agency,” says Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, President and Chief Executive Officer of Urban Health Plan, Inc. “Early on, we saw first-hand the impact that asthma was having on our community. We built an asthma management program and an asthma team that has reduced hospitalizations and emergency room visits, and improved patient outcomes, bringing much needed relief to our patients,” says Ms. Hernandez.

In 2001, faced with one of the highest asthma rates in the city, Urban Health Plan created Asthma Relief Street, an asthma management program which uses a multidisciplinary approach that is fully integrated into its primary care practice. Many patients are unaware that they have asthma, so an early diagnosis is important.  The program provides care for 12,000 asthma patients, who are assessed, treated and educated at every visit, whether they come for well-child care, a follow-up, or a sick walk-in visit. UHP also has a robust asthma education program, with health educators located at all of its sites and in all departments. The health educators follow an asthma curriculum that was developed by UHP clinicians.

In addition, UHP has created long lasting relationships with community organizations and has partnered with local hospitals and the neighborhood’s shelters to provide support and asthma education to their constituencies. The organization works closely with the New York City Department of Health’s New York City Asthma Partnership, a city-wide coalition of over 400 community-based organizations and individuals that brings together representatives to make recommendations to improve citywide policies and systems that affect people with asthma. This partnership is coordinated by the New York City Asthma Initiative.

Information on Urban Health Plan and the other award winners can be found on the EPA website: www.epa.gov/asthma/national-environmental-leadership-award-asthma-management.

About Urban Health Plan: 

Urban Health Plan (UHP) is a network of federally qualified community health centers based in the South Bronx and Queens and has been serving the community since 1974. Our mission is to continuously improve the health of communities and the quality of life of the people we serve by providing affordable, comprehensive, quality, primary and specialty health care and by assuring the performance and advancement of innovative best practices.  We have nine clinical sites, nine school-based sites and three part-time sites.  In 2015, we served more than 73,000 patients through more than 366,000 patient visits.  UHP is Joint Commission accredited.  For more information, visit www.urbanhealthplan.org.