Boston, August 25, 2014, — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy traveled to Boston on Aug. 19 to meet with families and health care workers to discuss the impacts of clean air and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. At Tufts Medical Center, where the EPA recognized staff with a national leadership award in asthma management earlier this year, Administrator McCarthy met with Barbara Ferrer, Phd, MPH, MEd, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC); Michael Wagner, MD, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children; May Chin, RN, Program Manager of the Asthma Prevention and Management Initiative at Tufts Medical Center and others involved in asthma treatment and prevention. She heard from Robenia Chambers, a mom of three and a client of BPHC who shared her story of how working with a community health worker helped her with her asthma and her kids.
(L to R)May Chin, Barbara Ferrer, Kurt Spalding, Gina McCarthy, Nathalie Bazil, Michael Wagner, Margaret Reid, Sherry Dong and Laurita Kaigler-Crawlle pose for a group picture (provided by Julie Jette).
According to EPA’s website, appointed by President Obama in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, Gina McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment.
McCarthy served as the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. During her career, which spans over 30 years, she has worked at both the state and local levels on critical environmental issues and helped coordinate policies on economic growth, energy, transportation and the environment.
Tufts MC’s APMI program manager and community health worker, with support/consultation from Tufts MC clinicians, provide education on management, environmental triggers and proper use of medications to asthmatic youth at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School and the Josiah Quincy Upper School, as well as patients in Floating Hospital for Children’s General Pediatrics and Asian Pediatric and Adolescent Clinical Services practices. Administrator McCarthy also visited the Castle Square home of a child with asthma who is currently participating in the APMI, and held a discussion about asthma prevention and improvements in the state at Health Resources in Action in Boston.
In 2010, the Boston Public Health Commission invited APMI to collaborate as a sub-recipient of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant; this grant enabled APMI to seed a home visiting program focused on medical compliance and environmental triggers in the home. APMI has helped decrease urgent care visits among these patients by 21 percent and decreased admissions for asthma-related symptoms by 6 percent.
“We have developed culturally and linguistically accessible clinical and community outreach programs to address a multitude of health issues and disparities in our local Asian community,” Dr. Wagner said.
“We appreciate the EPA’s efforts and leadership on clean air issues to positively impact those suffering from Asthma and other respiratory ailments.”