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Breathe Easy-Asthma Docs Say Education, Vigilance Are Vital



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Breathe Easy—

Asthma Docs Say Education, Vigilance Are Vital

DANBURY — As a mother with three children who suffer from asthma, one Westchester County mother says she goes to great lengths to keep her family healthy — even driving nearly three hours round trip to see Greg Dworkin, MD, director of Danbury Hospital’s successful asthma management program.

The parent, Karyn Pellow, does not mind traveling long distances if it means her children — ages 18, 16, and 12 — are receiving specialty care from a pediatric pulmonologist with Dr Dworkin’s experience.

“He stays on the cutting edge with his knowledge and always takes the time to answer my questions. He does everything possible to keep my kids healthy and their asthma under control,” said Ms Pellow of Dr Dworkin.

Pediatric pulmonology is among the many pediatric specialty services available at Danbury Hospital’s Children’s Health and Wellness Center at 79 Sand Pit Road. The child-friendly facility brings pediatric subspecialists under one roof, making it more convenient for families in Connecticut and New York to access high-quality, specialized care.

The center includes pediatric specialists in pulmonology (asthma), endocrinology (diabetes), psychiatry, cardiology, genetics, gastroenterology, and physical medicine/rehabilitation.

“Patients and their families will continue receiving the same high-quality care they are accustomed to — just in a more child-friendly and convenient setting,” said Dr Dworkin. “Having pediatric specialists at one location facilitates communication between specialists, pediatricians, patients, and their families.”

“Although asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses children face, the condition can be effectively managed when physicians, patients, and parents work together as a team,” said Dr Dworkin. But controlling asthma “requires constant vigilance” because poor management can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening consequences, he noted.

“Our goal at Danbury Hospital is to provide patients and their families with the tools they need to take control of their lives,” said Dr Dworkin. “It’s very do-able.”

Danbury Hospital has the lowest hospitalization rate for asthmatic children in Connecticut, a statistic that Raul A. Arguello, MD, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Danbury Hospital, attributes to the hospital’s highly effective asthma management program.

Dr Dworkin believes the program’s success is attributed to a variety of factors:

* Physician education that enables pediatricians to effectively identify and manage asthma, while recognizing when their patients need the specialized expertise of a pediatric pulmonologist.

* Patient education to help children and their parents understand the disease and how medication can control asthma and improve quality of life.

* An ongoing commitment by the hospital to provide its pediatric community with a higher level of skilled care with a personalized touch.

Dr Dworkin began treating the Pellow children 16 years ago when her oldest was diagnosed at age two. She tried seeing a pediatric pulmonologist in New York City when the family moved to Pelham, N.Y., but returned to the asthma management team at Danbury Hospital soon after.

More recently, at the peak of the swine flu epidemic, Ms Pellow said she was able to access Dr Dworkin by phone weekly for five weeks to ensure she was taking all the necessary precautions. Managing asthma can become more challenging when children contract common illnesses, such as a cold or seasonal flu.

“I had peace of mind knowing we were doing everything possible to keep my children healthy and safe,” said Ms Pellow. “Dr Dworkin directed me every step of the way.”

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