Rhode Island Hospital has won a nearly $8 million grant to build a program to address disparities in health outcomes among children with asthma.
The nonprofit hospital in Providence is one of only four in the country to receive the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute grants. The funds will be used to study how to improve health for high-risk children with asthma and create a community-based program to address common problems for children with asthma, such as increased emergency room visits.
In Rhode Island, emergency department visits due to asthma in 2014 increased 10.9 percent, and hospitalizations rose 2.2 percent, according state health department data cited in a statement released by Rhode Island Hospital. The rates had previously been declining, the statement said.
Nationally, hospitalizations and other urgent health care use due to asthma are as much as three times higher for minority groups than whites, the statement said, citing a 2012 report by the American Lung Association.
Elizabeth McQuaid and Daphne Koinis-Mitchell -- staff psychologists at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals and professors at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University -- will work as the project’s co-principal investigators.
They will focus on about 1,500 ethnically diverse children with asthma and their families in 16 Rhode Island communities. The researchers will follow these children and their families over six years and review the program’s effectiveness and long-term sustainability.