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HEAL: Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does HEAL stand for?
HEAL stands for the Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana Research Project.

What is the purpose of the HEAL Research Project?
The purpose of HEAL is to learn about the effects of mold and other indoor allergens on children with asthma in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. We want to find out if children with moderate to severe asthma are allergic to mold and allergens and what levels of molds and allergens the children are exposed to at home. Another goal of the HEAL Project is to look at inherited differences in children’s response to mold and indoor allergens. In addition, this project will try to find out if having an asthma counselor makes a difference in how often a child with asthma has symptoms in our current environment.

How will you determine if my child is allergic to mold or other indoor allergens?
If eligible for the research project, your child will be given a full examination by a Pediatric Asthma Specialist. The exam will include allergy testing of your child for several allergens, including molds that are present in New Orleans post-Katrina.

How do I know if I have mold and other allergens in my home?
If eligible for the research project, a study investigator will go to your home and take samples for mold and other indoor allergens. The results of this assessment will be provided to you.

What does the HEAL Asthma Counselor do?
The HEAL Asthma Counselor works with families selected for the project to reduce asthma symptoms, understand the nature of asthma and identify appropriate resources and access to healthcare for asthma. The Asthma Counselor can also give the family supplies and education to help reduce allergens in the home.

Who is in charge of this project?
Researchers and health professionals at Tulane University Health Sciences Center and the City of New Orleans Health Department are coordinating this project.