Asthma Education Program Helps Bethlehem Mom, Son to Breathe Easier
Watching her twin boys Ezequiel and Eduardo Figueroa cough and wheeze through frequent asthma attacks alarmed Elienid Jimenez. So when she learned about the Community Asthma Education Program at Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street in downtown Allentown, she had hope it would help her kids.
Through the program, a team including patient navigator Yahnily Ocasio-Rivera and community health workers Jamie Santana and Ivette Orench visited the family’s Bethlehem home. They also provided the family with information sessions. Along the way, they taught Elienid that dust, cigarette smoke and chemical cleaners can trigger the asthma attacks. The team worked with Elienid to design an asthma action plan for her boys.
Today Elienid says it’s much easier to manage her 2-year-old boys’ condition, now that she knows the importance of cleaning her house often (including the kids’ toys), and how and when to give her sons their asthma medicine to reduce the duration of attacks. Their flare-ups are less often, as are their once-frequent trips to the emergency room.
“I would recommend this program to parents who want to learn ways to keep their children with asthma healthy,” says Elienid, who’s expecting her third son in May. She’s hopeful her newborn will breathe easier just like his big brothers.
The twins are two of the 141 children and families who have been served by the Community Asthma Education Program, which is free of charge for children ages 1-14 with moderate or severe asthma who are patients of the Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) Children’s Clinic or the Lehigh Valley Family Health Center in Allentown. The program – which is fully funded by the Dorothy Rider Pool Health Care Trust – is a partnership of LVHN’s departments of pediatrics, family medicine and community health, along with Children’s Hospital at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
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