CHICAGO -- Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois at the Community Asthma Summit where he served as keynote speaker. Quinn discussed the many avenues to preventing asthma in Illinois where it is reaching epidemic proportions.
Nearly 800,000 Illinois residents suffer from asthma and the death rate from asthma in Chicago is the highest in the nation. Citing from the “Improving Community Health Survey” by the Sinai Urban Health Institute, Quinn said that Chicago is most heavily impacted by pediatric asthma.
“The asthma rate has soared in Illinois, asthma-related deaths have doubled, and this epidemic is the number one cause of school absences among children,” Quinn said. “It will take concerted community efforts to educate and activate people about ways to prevent and stem the rapid growth of asthma.”
As part of Quinn’s address, he discussed green solutions as a way to reduce hazardous asthma triggers, as well as encourage community health centers to be utilized as a central place for prevention and education rather than relying on emergency rooms.
“There are many common sense solutions that can control asthma attacks,” Quinn said. “A clean environment is one of them. By reducing dirty coal-fire plants, supporting cleaner fuel in mass transit and reducing school bus idling, we can achieve cleaner and breathable air for asthma sufferers.”
Participants of the Community Asthma Summit were the Illinois Department of Transportation, South Austin Coalition, Westside Health Authority, Westside Health Partnership, the University of Chicago, the Illinois Department of Human Services, Chicago Family Health Center, Centro Communitario Juan Diego, Healthy South Chicago, Roseland Community Development Corporation, F.O.R.U.M., Center for New Horizons, Inner City Youth Foundation, Sankofa Project, Westside Association for Community Action and LaRabida Children’s Hospital.
The Healthcare Consortium of Illinois is a community-based health and human service organization created to improve and enhance the quality of life in Illinois.