From left to right: Steven J. Czinn, M.D., chief of pediatrics at the University of Maryland Medical Center.; Paul Miller, Kohl's District Manager for Loss Prevention; Mary Beth Bollinger, D.O., medical director of the Breathmobile; Patty Holliger, Kohl's District Manager; Jennifer Stearman, chair of the UMCH Board of Visitors; and Jeffrey A. Rivest, president and CEO of UMMC.
The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital is commemorating the 10-year anniversary of its mobile asthma program, the Breathmobile, with a more than $211,000 grant from Kohl’s through its Kohl’s Cares for Kids Program. The grant will fund the purchase of a brand-new Breathmobile to bring asthma education and medical care to children throughout Maryland.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Board of Visitors accepted a check from Kohl’s to fund the new Breathmobile. The check was presented by Patty Holliger, Kohl's District Manager. The Breathmobile travels to schools throughout the state to educate and care for children with asthma. Donations to fund the Kohl’s grant were collected from the company’s stores located in the Baltimore area. Kohl’s has donated more than $566,000 to the Hospital for Children since 2008. Before the check presentation at the hospital, Kohl’s representatives made a site visit to see the Breathmobile in action as it treated students at Samuel Taylor Coleridge Elementary in West Baltimore.
The Breathmobile is an innovative approach to asthma outreach and education, according to Mary Beth Bollinger, D.O., medical director of the Breathmobile and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Asthma is a chronic illness that can be controlled with the proper treatment,” says Dr. Bollinger. “But for many asthmatic children, the hospital and emergency department are the only places they receive treatment, and then only for acute asthma attacks rather than preventive care. A critical component of keeping children healthy and out of the hospital is educating both parents and children and providing preventive care.”
Asthma causes 640,000 missed school days each year in Maryland. Hospitalization rates among asthmatic children in Baltimore are three times higher than the rest of the country. And about half of Baltimore children with asthma have had an emergency department visit in the prior six months.