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Asthma Bus, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
at the
Asthma Bus
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

May 1, 2001

Thank you, Tom (Voltaggio). It’s great to be here. May is World Asthma Month, and I can’t think of a better way to begin this month than by touring the Asthma Bus.

This bus is an innovative way to make sure that Philadelphia’s children learn about asthma and to see if they might have asthma.

This important community health resource is the result of a public-private partnership among Glaxo-Welcome, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, the City of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Asthma Task Force.

Asthma has become an increasing problem for children. Reported cases of asthma have more than doubled in the past 20 years.

Today, nearly one of every 13 school kids has asthma. Asthma causes ten million missed school days for American children each year. Children who live in cities are especially susceptible to asthma.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, we want to help protect kids with asthma from those environmental risks that can make their asthma worse.

That’s why, for example, President Bush recently approved a rule to reduce pollution from diesel buses and trucks and to require cleaner diesel fuel.

This action by the President will help prevent more than 360,000 asthma attacks and 386,000 cases of respiratory symptoms in children every year.

We also want to build on the good work that’s being done here in Philadelphia to help fight asthma.

That’s why today I have the honor to present the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital with a grant to help them do even more for Philadelphia’s children.

This money will help the hospital work with the city and with other partners to implement a comprehensive, community-based asthma care program.

Among the others who will be helping with the program are the Department of Health and Human Services, the Philadelphia Health Department, and other members of Philadelphia’s medical community.

I want to thank the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for their commitment to the health of Philadelphia’s children. I am delighted we can work together to help bring relief to those with asthma.

I also want to urge everyone here to try to attend the World Asthma Day celebration being held on Thursday at LOVE Plaza during lunchtime. There will be lots of interesting, informative, and fun things to do, so I hope you will all be able to attend.

Now, I’d like to present this check for $110,000 to the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Thank you.