Admissions for Asthma Markedly Decline at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Readmissions Nearly Cut in Half

(Fort Myers, Fla. - Jan. 11, 2018) --- More than 6 million children in the U.S. suffer from asthma and the numbers increase every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, there is excellent news at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, where hospital admissions due to asthma have been declining for the past several years. In 2014, 611 children were admitted to the hospital due to asthma; that number significantly declined to 369 admissions in fiscal year 2017. And, readmissions have dropped to nearly half in the same period – from 5.7% in 2014 to 2.8% in 2017. Asthma is a leading cause of missed school days and hospital visits for children and is consistently in the top 3 reasons for admissions at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

“The decline in admissions and readmissions is a direct result of our asthma prevention program and close communication between patients and families, pediatricians, hospital-based physicians and staff, schools and day care centers,” says Armando Llechu, Chief Administrative Officer of Golisano Children’s Services.

Asthma is a disease that causes the airways to swell and narrow and, as a result, less air can pass through. It leads to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing; the incidence of asthma in children has been on the rise for the past several decades.

Yanet Rios, M.D., Medical Director for Hospitalists at Golisano Children’s Hospital, says the foundation for success has been a focus on prevention of asthma attacks. “We created an asthma prevention program, to help patients and families better understand the disease, what triggers asthma attacks, and how to properly manage medications.”

It starts in the emergency room, where protocols have been established to identify new asthma patients and get the asthma under control. Then, during the hospital stay, the patient and family complete an education program that teaches them how to recognize early symptoms, control food and environmental triggers, such as second-hand smoke or pet dander and understand medications and appropriate use. Lee Health has a staff asthma health management coordinator and an asthma clinical educator.

Upon discharge, every child leaves the hospital with an individualized asthma action plan (in English or Spanish), which is shared with family, pediatricians and pulmonologists, school and/or day care staff. The plan is updated as needed, based on medications, etc. Each child is referred to the Outpatient Asthma Management Program, and a follow-up appointment is scheduled.

For more information about the asthma prevention program, call 239-424-1499 or email

About Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is the only acute care children’s hospital between Tampa and Miami. Part of Lee Health, the children’s hospital opened in 1994 within HealthPark Medical Center. In 2012, the hospital was renamed Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida after B. Thomas Golisano’s generous donation to the capital campaign to build a new, state-of-the-art facility. Lee Health Foundation, the primary fundraising entity for Golisano Children’s Hospital, is nearing the end of the capital campaign to raise $100 million to build and equip the new, 300,000-square-foot, 128-bed Golisano Children’s Hospital, which is set to open in the spring of 2017. For more information, visit

About Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Southwest Florida’s mission is to create, find and support programs that directly improve the health and well being of children in Southwest Florida. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southwest Florida supports The Ronald McDonald House®, The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, Grants and Scholarships. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit the web site at or call Ronald McDonald House Charities of SWFL at (239) 437-0202.

Press contact information
Pat Dolce
Public Affairs Specialist
Phone: 239-343-4801
Cell: 239-989-2758
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Fax: 239-343-4802

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