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CHOC’S FREE ASTHMA TREATMENT PROGRAM TO EXPAND IN ORANGE COUNTY
April 24, 2003

The Orange County School Asthma Program (OCSAP), the first of its kind to bring free medical treatment to children in the county’s under-served schools and clinics, recently announced the expansion of its program from part-time to full-time operation and its purchase of a Breathmobile, a fully equipped, mobile, asthma-treatment unit. The Breathmobile, trademarked by the Southern California’s Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), is due to arrive in June. The Breathmobile program, in conjunction with Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), will be available five days per week, and will provide services to 22 sites.

Dr Stanley P. Galant, director of pediatric allergy and immunology at the University of California, in collaboration with CHOC, initiated OCSAP last April in response to the two-fold rise in the prevalence of asthma over the last two decades and the disproportionate number of low-income, Hispanic sufferers. The program has received the support of the HealthCare Foundation for Orange County, Kaiser Permanente, Latino Health Access, the pharmaceutical industry, private donors and AAFA, which obtained a grant for the purchase of OCSAP’s Breathmobile┬«. "Asthma is an under-diagnosed and potentially deadly disease, which affects at least 10 percent of school children in the area and across the nation,” says Dr Galant. “The reality is that many underserved children are at risk because their families often can’t afford check-ups or medication. Under the circumstances, we have decided to bring doctors and treatment into the community free of charge.” In addition to providing asthma treatment, OCSAP will continue enrolling children in affordable healthcare plans and finding them medical homes with physicians in their communities, promoting school-based asthma programs, making schools asthma-friendly, and conducting educational programs for school nurses, physicians, asthmatic children and their parents. These efforts are expected to impact quality of life for the child and family by decreasing school absences and missed work days, increasing exercise tolerance, and reducing emergency room use and hospitalizations, as related to asthma. “We are delighted about the Breathmobile going to Orange County,” said Francene Lifson, executive director of AAFA So Cal, whose Breathmobiles serve underprivileged schools in the Los Angeles and Montebello Unified School districts as well as areas of Phoenix, Chicago and Baltimore. “The response to the Breathmobiles has been overwhelming, and our goal is to eventually bring them to children in under-served areas across the country.”

Named one of the best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report (2014-2015) and a 2013 Leapfrog Top Hospital for the highest quality of care, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children's) is exclusively committed to the health and well-being of children through clinical expertise, advocacy, outreach, education and research that brings advanced treatment to pediatric patients. Affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, CHOC’s regional health care network includes two state-of-the-art hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo, many primary and specialty care clinics, a pediatric residency program, and four clinical centers of excellence - the CHOC Children’s Heart, Neuroscience, Orthopaedic and Hyundai Cancer Institutes..

CHOC earned the Gold Level CAPE Award from the California Council of Excellence, the only children’s hospital in California to ever earn this distinction, and was awarded Magnet designation, the highest honor bestowed to hospitals for nursing excellence.  Recognized for extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, CHOC’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is the first in the United States to earn the Beacon Award for Pediatric Critical Care Excellence.

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Media Contact:
Denise Almazan, Director of Public Relations
phone: (714) 509-8680
email: pr@chocchildrens.org

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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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