World Asthma Day

  • May 2, 2024

World Asthma day is a time to recognize and spread awareness of how asthma affects sufferers. Asthma is a chronic lung disease in which inflammation and muscle tightening around airways causes difficulty breathing (World Health Organization).

Asthma is one of the major non-communicable diseases and the most common chronic disease in children. While 25 million people suffer from the disease nationally, asthma disproportionally impacts ethnic minority groups in the United States. Some alarming facts regarding are:

  • Black individuals are nearly three times as likely to die from asthma than white individuals according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
  • According to 2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) date, Black Children have the highest percentage of children living with Asthma at 11.6%.
  • With sex considered, Black Women have the highest rates of death due to asthma (AAFA)

While there is no single means to solving the problem of disparities related to asthma for minority populations, there are a plethora of approaches that can be taken to address the issue.  On an individual level successful interventions to address asthma disparities include:

  • Providing in-home asthma care, visits, education, and assessments
  • Using community health workers to provide culturally competent care
  • Investing in home interventions to provide asthma friendly living conditions

At Whittier we are working to create a culture of wellness in your community by emphasizing prevention and wellness. Our Adult Medicine Department provides comprehensive preventative care and disease management to patients over age 18. Our goal is to help you avoid chronic illnesses and health crises that send you to the Emergency Room or result in hospitalization. They will also encourage you to make lifestyle changes that will help you manage the chronic conditions like asthma so that you can feel better.

Whittier’s Pediatric Asthma Clinic, works with patients and families to develop plans to monitor and control asthma symptoms and prevent asthma attacks before they occur.

We accomplish this by:

  • Helping you to understand your child’s asthma symptoms and medications.
  • Performing pulmonary function testing in clinic.
  • Making adjustments to your child’s medications as needed.
  • Identifying your child’s asthma triggers and helping to find ways to reduce them.
  • Providing annual influenza vaccines.
  • Assisting families with smoking cessation to decrease your child’s exposure to second-hand smoke.
  • Making referrals to community resources as needed.
  • Working with your child’s school and other community organizations to ensure optimal control of asthma triggers to prevent symptoms.
  • Providing case management services to ensure the optimal well-being of your child.

During the month of May 2024, we will distribute free asthma inhalers to our pediatric patients in need of inhalers.

For more information regarding Whittier’s Pediatric Asthma Clinic please visit: or call (617) 989-3194.

For additional information about chronic disease management at Whittier Street Health Center please visit:   or contact (617) 858-2432.

A note about Whittier and COVID-19

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in our area, we ask all clients and patients to call ahead before coming to any of our sites. We are working to take care of most clients/patients via phone/video encounter so we can meet your ongoing healthcare needs. This is for your safety and so we can provide the highest quality of care to you while following CDC guidance for COVID-19. Please call 617-427-1000 for any questions or concerns.

Whittier will provide COVID-19 testing from 10 am to 4 pm on Monday to Friday. Following CDC guidance, we recommend testing if you have a fever AND one of the following three symptoms: cough OR shortness of breath OR sore throat. Please bring your picture identification and your insurance card (if you have insurance).