Meet the Team

Asthma, a lung disease that makes breathing difficult, is a serious health issue for families in communities throughout the U.S. It is one of the leading causes of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and missed school days, and can be life-threatening. As the most common chronic condition among children, in New York City more than 170,000 children live with asthma, including approximately 50,000 children in the borough of Queens, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the New York State Department of Health.  


Hadi M. Jabbar, M.D., F.A.A.P.hadi jabbar


For more than 35 years, Hadi M. Jabbar, M.D., F.A.A.P., has been dedicated to helping children with asthma breathe better and participate in sports and daily activities without regular trips to the emergency room.

Dr. Jabbar is at the forefront of innovative treatments to address childhood asthma. At NYHQ, he helped initiate a comprehensive asthma management program – where disease interventions are based upon treatment protocols, and includes disease education for patients and their families, home environmental analysis to identify asthma triggers and barriers to care, behavior modification, school programs, and more.

Since 1992, he has served as director of the Pediatric Asthma Center at New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ)—which, as one of the largest childhood asthma treatment programs in the New York tri-state area, sees more than 8,000 patients each year. In addition, he is clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College.

In addition, in 1997 he launched the NYHQ Pediatric Mobile Asthma Van as a way to bring asthma screening and treatment directly to families in underserved communities, which typically report higher rates of asthma. The van is intended to increase access to asthma specialists by reducing common barriers to care, e.g., scheduling challenges and travel time to a doctor’s office. Today, the van is supported by a $326,000 grant from TransCanada, a North American energy company, which enabled the establishment of a mobile asthma program at Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, Queens – among the nation’s largest public housing facilities. The van is stationed at Queensbridge Houses two days each week; it allows walk-in appointments and accepts most major insurance providers, including Medicaid.

As a thought-leader in pediatric pulmonology, Dr. Jabbar holds positions with several organizations dedicated to improving the lives of people with asthma or other lung diseases. He is a member of the American Lung Association Nationwide Research Program Committee, a board member of the American Lung Association of the Northeast, and chair-elect of the Metropolitan New York Leadership Board of the American Lung Association. He is a member of the New York State Consensus Asthma Guidelines Panel, of the New York State Department of Health. In addition, he is a steering committee member of the New York City Asthma Partnership, a coalition organized by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. As well, he is chair of the Regional Asthma Coalition of Queens, formed in March 2012 with a $900,000 grant from the New York State Department of Health.

Dr. Jabbar completed his residency and fellowship in pediatric pulmonology at The State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. He then joined the faculty at SUNY Downstate, and served as a consulting pulmonologist at several hospitals in Brooklyn and Queens, before joining the NYHQ medical staff in 1982. He earned his medical degree (with honors) from The Dow Medical College, University of Karachi, Pakistan.


Wifredo Lao, M.D., F.A.A.P.


Dr. Wilfredo Lao obtained his Medical School diploma at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila, Philippines. He completed his pediatric residency at Flushing Hospital Medical Center. He is Board certified in Pediatrics since 1997. 

Dr. Lao has been with The Pediatric Asthma Center since 1999. He is involved in treating and education of our asthma center patients. He also helps in organizing community health fairs and workshops for asthmatics.

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