MOLD RESEARCH: Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana

Today’s increasing asthma rates are believed to be related to an increase in environmental exposures such as mold, moisture and other allergens.

The Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL) Project is a collaborative research project conducted by the Tulane University Health Sciences Center and the New Orleans Department of Health which is investigating these relationships.

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.

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.

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.

The purpose of the project is to learn about the effects of mold and other indoor allergens on children with asthma in post-Katrina New Orleans. Another goal of the HEAL Project is to look at inherited differences in childrens response to mold and indoor allergens. The project is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD), the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), and the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN). NIEHS and NCMHD are part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

HEAL Investigators:

  • *Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH, Principal Investigator and Freeport McMoRan Chair of Environmental Policy, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • *William Martin II, MD, Principal Investigator and Associate Director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • *Herman Mitchell, PhD, Principal Investigator and Senior Research Scientist, Rho, Inc.
  • *Kevin Stephens, Jr., MD, JD, Principal Investigator and Director, New Orleans Health Department
  • Keith Bordelon, MSPH, HEAL Study Coordinator, Constella Group, LLC
  • Patricia Chulada, PhD, MHS, Health Scientist Administrator, Program in Clinical Research, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Richard Cohn, PhD, Vice President, Center for Health Research, Constella Group, LLC
  • Jane El Dahr, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Clinical Professor of Medicine; Head, Section of Pediatric Allergy/Immunology/Rheumatology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center
  • Faye Grimsley, PhD, CIH, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
  • Suzanne Kennedy, PhD, Research Scientist, Rho, Inc.
  • Mosanda Mvula, MD, MPH, Chief, Division of Health Disparities, New Orleans Health Department
  • Yvonne Sterling, RN, PhD, Professor of Nursing, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing
  • Eleanor Thornton, MS, CHES, AE-C, President and CEO, Visionary Consulting Partners, LLC
  • LuAnn White, PhD, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences; Director, Tulane Center for Applied Environmental Public Health, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
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