State Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger) announced Monday $15 million in funds from the governor’s budget have been secured to go towards Asthma prevention services.
The money is set to go towards Asthma education throughout the state, and will invest in assessing in-home Asthma triggers like allergens.
Hurtado said the funds will help efforts to prevent Asthma statewide, including in Kern County.
“What we’re trying to do is make life healthier for all community members here in the central valley,” she said. “My hope for Asthma is to one day completely eliminate it.”
In 2016, 550,000 people in the Central Valley, including 105,000 children, were living with Asthma, according to the American Lung Association. Julie Otero, who was diagnosed with Asthma 10 years ago, uses an oxygen machine to help her breathe. She said the funds are a good thing for the state.
“This I battle with every day. My life is in danger every day. I live with a death sentence on my head on a daily basis. The air is so bad, it makes my life more in jeopardy every day,” she said, noting a move would be too expensive.
“[The funds] would prevent somebody having to live like me. And it will save their lives,” Otero continued.
The $15 million in funds are expected to be appropriated to the California Department of Healthcare Services. D.H.C.S. will then determine which local health departments community-based organizations will receive the money.