With a $1.25 million grant from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin is launching a five-year research project aimed to help children affected by asthma, the two organizations announced Tuesday.

The project will specifically focus on helping children of color living in urban Milwaukee by striving to reduce the risks and economic burden of having asthma.

“Research shows that asthma disproportionately affects communities of color with devastating impact. African Americans have the highest prevalence of asthma, are hospitalized at five times the rate of white patients and are four times more likely to die of asthma. We have the opportunity through this community research project to focus resources where they are needed most,” said Ellen Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. 

The grant will allow allergists from Children's Hospital to provide outreach and education about asthma triggers, such as urban pesticide, in the homes of asthmatic children in Milwaukee.

The project also will examine any associations between participants' genes, their asthma triggers and their response to environmental interventions.

“This grant supports Children’s mission to serve the families and children of Wisconsin,” said Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. “The results will not only benefit those participating, but be shared and used with other health systems and providers so that Wisconsin can have the healthiest kids in the country.”

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