Boys & Girls Clubs in New Jersey (BGCNJ) is excited to announce the launch of the Breathe Easier with Asthma Management (BEAM) program which is funded by The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey (The Foundation). The Foundation has invested $500,000 in this pilot initiative, which will raise awareness about asthma and educate Boys & Girls Club members and their parents or caregivers about asthma and how to most effectively manage it. A component of the program will be to work with youth diagnosed with asthma to improve their overall health and quality of life.
The BEAM pilot program will target nine counties in New Jersey where there are high rates of childhood asthma. BEAM will serve 2,500 children ages 5-18 at twelve Boys & Girls Clubs from September 2014 through June 2015. During this pilot implementation, the program is being delivered at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Camden County, Clifton, Gloucester, Hudson County, Hawthorne, Mercer County, Salvation Army/Ironbound-Newark, Northwest NJ, Paterson/Passaic County, Perth Amboy, Union County, and Vineland.
BGCNJ has partnered with the American Lung Association (ALA) to use their Open Airways for Schools curriculum for youth with asthma. Additionally, ALA has developed the Asthma Awareness program especially for non-asthmatic youth. ALA provided training to Club staff on delivery of these two components and will serve as a resource throughout the program.
The BEAM program kicked off in September with parent information nights that gave parents an overview of the program goals and allow each participating youth to be screened for asthma. Any youth deemed to be at high risk for asthma will receive referrals to doctors in their community.
The program seeks to provide early education to prevent future health issues, reduce the rate of emergency room usage and hospitalization rates. BGCNJ is proud to have been selected to collaborate with The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey on the BEAM Pilot Program to educate and build awareness of this disease in our Club communities and beyond.