Press Releases & Announcements

Breathe Easy with Danbury Hospital’s Asthma Management Program

Monday, September 14, 2009 - Danbury, CT

As a mother with three children who suffer from asthma, Karyn Pellow of Pelham, N.Y., 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.

Pellow doesn’t mind traveling long distances if it means her children—Robert, 18, Nicholas, 16, and Madison, 12—are receiving a higher level of specialty care from a pediatric pulmonologist.

“He is brilliant,” says Pellow of Dr. Dworkin, chief of Pediatric Pulmonology at Danbury Hospital. “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. There’s no place like Danbury Hospital.”

Children’s Health and Wellness Center

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 in Danbury. 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.”

Vigilance pays off when treating asthma

“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.”

Keeping asthmatic kids out of the hospital

Danbury Hospital has the lowest hospitalization rate for asthmatic children in Connecticut, an impressive 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 credits the program’s success 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 Danbury Hospital to provide its pediatric community with a higher level of care, such as the Children’s Health and Wellness Center.

Skilled care with a personalized touch

Pellow knows first-hand how hard it is to find a pediatric pulmonologist that combines skill with compassion. 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 quickly returned to the asthma management team at Danbury Hospital.

“Nothing can match the personalized attention that we receive at Danbury Hospital,” said Pellow. At the peak of the swine flu epidemic, for example, Pellow spoke directly with Dr. Dworkin 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 Pellow. “Dr. Dworkin directed me every step of the way.”

About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with New York Medical College, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. The hospital provides centers of excellence in cardiovascular services, cancer, weight loss surgery, orthopedics, digestive disorders and radiology. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management. Medical staff members are board certified in their specialties.

In the area of cardiac care, Danbury Hospital is ranked number one in Connecticut for cardiac surgery and in the top 5 percent nationally for overall cardiac care by HealthGrades®. This is the second consecutive year for the national award. Danbury Hospital is nationally ranked in the Top 5% in the Nation for Women’s Health and a recipient of the 2009/2010 Women’s Health Excellence Award for providing services to women and is in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the country for overall clinical performance by HealthGrades®, a leading independent health care rating organization. It is the only health care facility in Connecticut ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance five years in a row.