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School Asthma Grant


October 20, 2015

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391



Local school nurse receives asthma grant


For the second consecutive year, Cheryl Asay, NP, has been named a recipient of the School Asthma Mini-Grant Award from the Montana Asthma Control Program, a program within the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).

She has received $500 to carry out her project.

Asay provides nursing services to the Manhattan Public Schools, where she works with students and their families to ensure students’ health and well-being.  She is among a select number of school nurses awarded grants by the Montana Asthma Control Program for the 2015-2016 school year.

Next spring, she will use the funds to attend the 2016 Big Sky Pulmonary Conference.

This conference features prominent speakers and experts in the field of respiratory medicine. The two-day conference provides attendees with education and the opportunity to network with other health professionals.

“She will be able to take what she learns at the conference and apply it in her schools to better manage students with asthma,” said William Biskupiak, health educator for the Montana Asthma Control Program.

Biskupiak said Asay deserves extra kudos for taking this initiative. “School nurses already have a lot on their plate, especially when there is only one nurse who is responsible for multiple schools,” he said. “These nurses recognize that their efforts can go a long way to help increase the quality of life for both individual students and the school community as a whole. She has a great opportunity to build upon the work she did last year and continue to improve health in the schools that she serves.”

Asthma, a chronic disorder of the airways, affects approximately 17,000 children ages 0-17 in Montana.  Nationwide, seven million children currently have asthma, and asthma is one of the leading causes of school absences across the country.

The School Nurse Asthma Mini-Grant Program was created by the Montana Asthma Control Program to assist school nurses in Montana in creating asthma friendly schools, which includes implementing research-backed, school-based asthma management and training.  Funding is provided by a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to the DPHHS.

For more information about asthma, and about the Montana Asthma Control Program, please visit www.dphhs.mt.gov/asthma.