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New York Hospital Queens Brings Asthma Care to Children at Riis Settlement


NYHQ: Allison Fleming, 718-670-2374, alf9034@nyp.org
TransCanada Media Inquiries: Shawn Howard/Grady Semmens/Davis Sheremata, 403-920-7859 or 800-608-7859
Riis Settlement: Aimee Simpierre, 718-784-7447 x116, asims@riissettlement.org

 New York Hospital Queens Brings Asthma Care to Children at Riis Settlement

Grant from TransCanada Funds NYHQ Pediatric Asthma
           Mobile Unit Program in Long Island City

Flushing, N.Y., April 1, 2014 — New York Hospital Queens unveiled a newly renovated pediatric asthma mobile unit that is providing treatment directly to children at the Queensbridge Houses headquarters of Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement (Riis Settlement) in Long Island City. The van renovation and asthma care program are funded by a $326,000 grant from TransCanada through the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

In New York City, about 177,000 children ages 12 and under have been diagnosed with asthma. Asthma is a disease where the body’s airways narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus. It can cause shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Asthma can be life threatening if it is not managed properly. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism.

“By bringing treatment to children via a mobile clinic, we provide young patients with easy access to care. Too many times, the cost of care, securing appointments and finding a consistent source of care prevent children and their caregivers from successfully managing symptoms of asthma,” said Joseph Abularrage, M.D., chairman, Pediatrics, New York Hospital Queens. “We want to keep the children in our community healthy and help them prevent visits to the emergency room and hospitalization.”

Riis Settlement is located in an area of Long Island City known as “Asthma Alley,” a region stretching from the South Bronx, through East Harlem and into Western Queens. This area has one of the highest child asthma rates in New York and is surrounded by manufacturing sites, bridges and transportation hubs. For several years, New York Hospital Queens has partnered with Riis Settlement and TransCanada to host asthma screening and educational events to raise awareness of the disease.

“All of us at Riis Settlement are thrilled that our partnership with TransCanada and New York Hospital Queens in the fight against asthma is expanding,” said Christopher Hanway, executive director, Riis Settlement. “In a community where access to pediatric asthma prevention and treatment services is severely limited, the mobile unit will provide a vital lifeline to young people and their families. We look forward to continuing to work with these amazing and generous partners.”

“TransCanada is dedicated to working with organizations that focus on health and wellness in the community,” said Jasmin Bertovic, vice president of Eastern Power Commercial at TransCanada. “Both Riis Settlement and New York Hospital Queens have been exemplary stewards in making the public aware of the devastating effects that asthma is having on the population of Queens. They have been wonderful partners with TransCanada in the annual asthma screening and education event from its inception in 2009 and we are proud and excited to be involved in this vital service to the community.”

A comprehensive health care team, including a pulmonologist, pediatrician, respiratory therapist and social worker, from the Pediatric Asthma Center at New York Hospital Queens staffs the mobile unit. Hadi Jabbar, M.D., director, Pediatric Asthma Center, spearheaded this program and will see patients on the mobile unit.

The mobile unit is parked at Riis Settlement (10-25 41st Avenue, Long Island City, N.Y.) every Tuesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are preferred. Members of the community can make an appointment by calling 718-670-1920.

New York Hospital Queens is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System and is affiliated with Weill Medical College of Cornell University. For more information on New York Hospital Queens, visit www.nyhq.org.

With more than 60 years’ experience, TransCanada is a leader in the responsible development and reliable operation of North American energy infrastructure including natural gas and oil pipelines, power generation and gas storage facilities. TransCanada operates a network of natural gas pipelines that extends more than 68,500 kilometres (42,500 miles), tapping into virtually all major gas supply basins in North America. TransCanada is one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services with more than 400 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. A growing independent power producer, TransCanada owns or has interests in over 11,800 megawatts of power generation in Canada and the United States. TransCanada is developing one of North America's largest oil delivery systems. TransCanada's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol TRP. For more information visit: www.transcanada.com or check us out on Twitter @TransCanada or http://blog.transcanada.com.

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement (www.riissettlement.org) is a leading community-based non-profit service provider in Western Queens, New York, serving as a catalyst for change by supporting residents in their efforts to achieve greater social and economic self-sufficiency. Founded in 1899, Riis Settlement provides integrated educational, social, cultural and health services to more than 1,600 individuals each year. Riis Settlement’s award-winning programs support community members of all ages-- from after-school programs for kids to English-language classes and case management for immigrants to health services, meals, and transportation for older adults.

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Leaders from New York Hospital Queens, TransCanada and Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement celebrated the unveiling of the NYHQ Pediatric Mobile Asthma Unit that provides asthma care to children at Riis Settlement. Congress Member Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer also attended the unveiling to show their support.

Staff from the New York Hospital Queens Pediatric Asthma Mobile Unit demonstrated asthma care equipment on the unit.

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