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Children With Asthma More Vulnerable to H1N1 Virus
Date:9/8/2009

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Highlights Philadelphia MCAN Project As Model for Managing Childhood Asthma and Reducing H1N1 Risk

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly a dozen 7th graders with asthma were welcomed along with other classmates back to school today by a special guest who had a message for them about staying healthy - Kathleen Sebelius, 21st Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Secretary Sebelius met with students and their parents at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, one of 16 schools in Philadelphia that partners with the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) program partners to help students better manage their asthma. She talked about the importance of education and creating healthy habits to avoid missing school.

"Nothing is more important than keeping our children healthy, in school and ready to learn as we start the new school year," said Dr. Floyd Malveaux, Executive Director of MCAN and former Dean of the College of Medicine at Howard University. "We applaud Secretary Sebelius for recognizing that staying healthy can be a challenge for students with asthma - a factor that is even further complicated with the possibility of being exposed to the H1N1 virus, which can increase the severity of asthma symptoms, leading to possible hospitalizations."

During the meeting, Secretary Sebelius highlighted the work of the Philadelphia MCAN project as a model for inner-city childhood asthma management. Launched in 2005, the Philadelphia MCAN project has improved asthma outcomes for children and reduced school absenteeism by using a community-based approach that integrates families, community agencies, schools and health care providers to implement scientifically proven asthma interventions.

The Philadelphia program brings hope into communities that shoulder a disproportionate share of the c
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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