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EPA Grant Means Kids Will Breathe Easier in Toppenish

Release Date: 10/24/2005
Contact Information: Pam Emerson
(206) 553-1287

October 24, 2005

U.S EPA, American Lung Association, and Yakama Nation join forces against childhood asthma

As part of on-going efforts to protect children from environmental health threats and in honor of Children’s Health Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announces a $50,000 grant to the American Lung Association of Washington (ALAW) for a project aimed at reducing the environmental exposures that trigger asthma attacks. Via the Yakama Nation Asthma Awareness Project (YNAAP), the Lung Association will work closely with the Yakama Nation, the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, and other key partners. The project will facilitate outreach to Yakama tribal families who have asthmatic children and ultimately, aims to lower hospital admittance rate for asthma among this group. EPA recognizes that fostering a coalition-based approach is essential in the face of a complex problem like childhood asthma.

EPA Regional Administrator Michael Bogert announced this grant today while visiting the Yakama Tribal Center in Toppenish, WA. "EPA has steadily increased its efforts to protect infants and children from environmental health risks, recognizing that they are more susceptible than adults. And building local, tribal, and state capacity is a key step." said Bogert. "In awarding this grant to the ALAW and its partners, we are pleased to further our goal of minimizing the environmental contributors to childhood illness."

The partnership between the ALAW and the Yakama Nation will be a key component to the project’s success. "This collaboration will enable us to reach a disproportionately affected population in an effective and culturally appropriate way," remarks Leslie Benoit, Yakima Regional Director for the ALAW. The Lung Association will bring expertise and demonstrated success in addressing environmental triggers of childhood asthma and the Yakama Nation will bring a unique understanding of the needs of tribal children and families when it comes to chronic disease education and management. Asthma rates in the lower Yakima Valley are substantially higher than the statewide average, according to the recently released Washington State Asthma Burden Report.

For additional information on Children's Health Month -- EPA’s campaign to increase awareness, stimulate activity and recognize efforts that protect children from environmental health risks -- please visit the website listed below.

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