Special Projects Fund

Project Title

Proving Return on Investment for an Intervention for Asthmatic Children

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Special Projects Fund

Date Awarded

February 25, 2014








The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) has designated asthma as a key issue within its Prevention Agenda priority areas—the condition contributes to more than 1.9 million days of missed school or day care annually among children and asthma-related hospitalizations cost the State about $535 million annually.

The Bronx has one of the highest prevalence and hospitalization rates for asthma among children, where 1 in 12 children had an asthma attack in the past year—a rate of 38% higher than the citywide average. Asthma is triggered and exacerbated by indoor allergens, such as cockroaches and mice; in the South Bronx, more than 50% of households have reported seeing cockroaches in the homes daily and mice in their buildings. Studies show that children in pest-free homes have fewer symptoms, school absences, and emergency room visits and hospitalizations compared with those in homes with pests. NYHealth awarded Fund for Public Health in New York (FPHNY) a grant to evaluate a single-visit, integrated pest management (IPM) intervention for children with asthma in the Bronx.

Under this grant, FPHNY collaborated with NYSDOH and Montefiore Medical Center to conduct a randomized control trial to evaluate an IPM intervention for Bronx children between the ages of 5 to 12 years old with persistent asthma living in homes with pests. Unlike traditional pest control, which relies on pesticides, IPM eliminates pests and prevents reinfestation by addressing housing conditions conducive to pests. The project team demonstrated the feasibility of implementing an IPM intervention; evaluated changes in asthma outcomes and asthma-related health system utilization; assessed the costs and return on investment for the IPM intervention; and reported findings and supported policies to adopt insurance reimbursement for IPM interventions.