The Preventive Care Program for Urban Children with Asthma

Lab Members

The Preventive Care Program for Urban Children with Asthma team has the fortunate opportunity to work closely with the Rochester community while emphasizing the importance of continued learning. The following quotes are reflections on how our experiences have affected us.

Principal Investigator

Jill Halterman, M.D., M.P.H.
Professor of Pediatrics
Co-Vice Chair for Research

"In my view, our greatest privilege has been the opportunity to develop the relationships that we have with the community. In particular, the city school district and the nurses have been so supportive of our programs, and have worked diligently to improve care for children with asthma." – Jill Halterman

Study Team

Maria Fagnano, M.P.H.
Associate Director of Clinical Research
Senior Health Project Coordinator

"I feel very fortunate to work with a wonderful research team that cares about children’s health with great enthusiasm. Our research team always seeks to better understand the families that we work with to ultimately provide better health care to these children." – Maria Fagnano

Paul Tremblay, R.N.
Project Nurse

"To be in a position to contribute as a nurse within this dynamic research team is both meaningful and rewarding. Our work together leads to a better understanding of significant gaps and disparities in the asthma care of urban underserved children. Thanks to visionary leadership we are in a unique position to test community-based interventions that address children’s relievable suffering and improve quality of life for Rochester families. Many memorable experiences with bright-eyed children, concerned parents, committed school nurses and local pediatric providers have left their impressions. One former elementary school child was particularly enthusiastic.  Through meetings with his mom and dad, I heard about their struggles with long-standing smoking habits. He was able to breathe noticeably better when he received his preventive asthma medicine through school and his parents wanted to take steps to eliminate smoke exposure at home. At the end of the school year we asked this child if he would pose for a picture; he could not contain his excitement and performed cart wheels for us on his front lawn. His mother smiled big too, sharing his joy and looking very proud. The upside down image of this excited boy later became part of the logo we designed for our School-Based Preventive Asthma Care Technology (SB-PACT) study. We’re able to make a difference for real people and learn what it takes to make asthma a chronic condition that children can live well and lead full lives with." – Paul Tremblay

Susan Blaakman, Ph.D.
Project Nurse

"I have learned a great deal about what it takes to run a major research project while upholding the highest respect both for science and the care of the families who participate. It was my greatest honor to be invited to a home by a family participating in the NICU study pilot and to be introduced to a now healthy and thriving baby who was at birth ‘the smallest baby ever born at Strong Memorial Hospital.’ I’ll never forget being able to hold a miracle (dressed in pink) in my arms that day!" – Susan Blaakman

Heather Holderness
Health Project Coordinator

Reynaldo Tajon, B.A.
Health Project Coordinator

"One of the most significant learning experiences I’ve had is the knowledge I’ve acquired by working with the community. There have been a few instances when I have encountered health professionals in the hospital or in schools who say they don’t understand why parents don’t give their children medicines or why new parents don’t visit their newborn in the NICU more often. After going out to these parents’ homes and talking with them, it really brings to light issues they’re facing on a day to day basis. Not many health professionals can say they’ve had similar learning experiences." – Reynaldo Tajon

Hillary F. Goldman
Research Analyst

"Your first job right out of college is usually a mixed bag and you don’t always know what you’re getting yourself into. I can proudly say that I genuinely enjoy my job! Whether its interacting with the many (adolescent) participants, their parents, nurses or my supportive team of co-workers my time is incredibly well spent. I have learned a lot on the job and have a better idea of what research opportunities I hope to pursue." –Hillary F. Goldman

Elise Wiesenthal, B.S., R.N.
Research Analyst

"Working with the asthma study team has given me so many opportunities to grow, both professionally and personally. I have had the chance to work with and learn from an amazing group of dedicated, compassionate individuals. I have gained an understanding of the effort that goes into each large scale project, and I am really enjoying the opportunity to become involved in many different aspects of research. Additionally, the interactions we have with families in our programs allow us to shape our studies to the needs of the community. It is so rewarding to be welcomed into the home of a subject, and see the positive effects of our asthma research on a child's life." – Elise Wiesenthal

Charles Gillett
Research Analyst

"During my time here with the study team, my understanding of what it takes to conduct ‘good’ research has expanded far beyond the scope of just having ‘good’ data printed on a sheet. Good research is about the development of theories and the experience of taking those ideas and materializing them. Good research is about the people who work together on that process. In research, it not only takes a good idea, but just as importantly is requires a good team of individuals to nurture those ideas and help you to develop better ones. Working here has been a great experience as I have had the chance to work with individuals who are always seeking to improve themselves and the quality of their work. The dedication to the work and to the community has definitely been a major contributor to the teams’ past successes it will continue to promote future success. It’s such an honor to be a part of this team." –Charles Gillett

Michelle Benassai
Undergrad Research Assistant

Katelyn Cappotelli
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Peggy Collins
Data Control Clerk

Rebecca Holman
Data Control Clerk

Nicole Itzkowitz
Undergrad Research Assistant

Angela Kluzniak
Undergrad Research Assistant

David Chaves Lopez
Data Control Clerk

Lamie Nguyen
Research Associate

Jason Noomani
Data Control Clerk

Jessica Parmelee
Undergrad Research Assistant

Jennifer Selland
Undergrad Research Assistant

Hannah Slavin
Undergrad Research Assistant

Stefanie Thorsness
Data Control Clerk

Eleni Wechsler
Undergrad Research Assistant

Contact Us

Jill Halterman Lab
Saunders Research Building
General Pediatrics
Room 3.420
601 Elmwood Avenue
Box 777
Rochester, NY 14642

Phone: (585) 275-5798
Fax: (585) 276-2206
Asthma Study Team