Federal Lawmakers Approve $250K for Valley Children’s Hospital Asthma Program
As part of the federal Labor-HHS appropriations bill passed by Congress this week, the Madera-based Valley Children's Hospital will receive $250,000 to establish an asthma program, the Fresno Bee reports. Last July, the hospital's trustees eliminated a mobile asthma van that provided outreach to predominately low-income schools as part of a "budget-tightening move." In response, the trustees decided to ask Congress for $1.25 million to fund an asthma program. Diana Dooley, general counsel and senior vice president of the hospital, said that while $250,000 was less than requested, the money "exceeded the hospital's expectations." The hospital does not plan to restart the van program and instead will use the federal funds to provide asthma training for doctors and education programs for patients. The Labor-HHS appropriations measure also included recommendations that funds be provided to the hospital to train nurses and increase telemedicine projects in the region. The hospital will apply for grants of $1.3 million to train 40 nurses in pediatric specialties and $1.5 million to install and train staffers to use telemedicine equipment. Given the federal recommendations, Dooley said she is "optimistic the grants will be awarded" (Fresno Bee, 12/21).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.