Richmond gets grant to help combat asthma issues in the area

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond City Health District is getting a large amount of money to fight asthma issues in the area.

“Over the last five years, every year we’ve been ranked one of the top 10 cities to live in with asthma,” said Dr. Danny Avula with RHCD.

Avula says it doesn’t matter where in the area you live or which doctors you use; asthma in Richmond region is a huge problem, partly because of air quality and high smoking rates.

“It’s an issue that affects everybody,” Avula said.

A federal program called the ‘Pay for Success Project’ awarded RCHD $350,000 to work with hospitals, researchers and local school systems to study and develop effective solutions to problems with asthma.

“Going to the emergency room or the hospital should be reserved for a situation of last resort,” Avula said.

A 2015 study found Richmond to be the second most challenging city in the country to live with asthma. Doctors say this grant could change that.

“Asthma can actually be controlled,” Avula said. “These kids can lead fairly normal lives if they’re just on the right medication and avoiding triggers and so that really takes everybody. That takes the schools, the families, the pediatricians out in the community and the folks at the hospitals.”

Dr. Avula says they’ll start rolling out plans within the next few months.

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