The First Ever Breathmobile® in Northern California!

The Breathmobile!

BreathmobileThe Breathmobile® is a 33 ft. Winnebago RV outfitted with the latest equipment to function as a mobile asthma clinic. Inside the van, there are an intake station, a small waiting space, a testing area for vital signs including Oximetry, allergen skin testing and spirometry, and an exam room. On board are two computer systems, a health risk assessment system for asthma, a screening module for pre-diabetes, and a state of the art electronic medical records system called “AsmaTrax.” A video system is also on board to play educational videos and CDs.

Breathmobile® Personnel consists of Pediatric Asthma Specialists, including a Pediatrician, a Registered Nurse and/or Nurse Practitioner, a Respiratory Technician, all asthma-certified, and a Patient Service Worker/Driver. All services are available in Spanish, and several staff members speak Spanish.

Latest Happenings!
Updates & Happenings!

9/22/10: Breathmobile’s ® (BMo) First Year of Operation on Target! Summer has come and gone and…it’s back to school time. And, it’s time for the BMo to start visiting schools. During the summer we took a brief hiatus from the schools and participated in a few community events. With school back in session, we are gearing up for a full school year! This month, we will provide services at Anna Yates (Emeryville USD), Wilson, (San Leandro USD), and Lafayette, Hoover, Lincoln, West Oakland Middle, and Prescott (Oakland USD).

Our first year of operation saw amazing results! We saw children and preschoolers in Emeryville, Oakland, and San Leandro from September 2009 through June 2010, for a total of 96 students, serving them every 4-6 weeks! Asthma-related ER visits and school absenteeism dropped significantly from the previous year. ER visit dropped from 71 to 2, and absenteeism dropped from 101 to 7. We are definitely keeping children out of the ER and in school!


  • Washington Burns, MD, BMo Director, has been selected as one of the recipients of the San Francisco Foundation’s “2010 Community Leadership Award.” The Award Ceremony will be held Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 6:30pm at the Herbst Theater, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco. Other distinguished recipients include: Anna Halprin, Sylvia Rosales-Fike, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, and Koshland Young Leaders Awardees.

Stay tuned for more exciting news about the Northern California Breathmobile ®!

4-6-10: Happy Spring!! We have been busy! We brought on Oakland Unified School District and our school visits have increased significantly. We are now seeing children at 7 schools. In addition to Emeryville and San Leandro schools, we are seeing children at West Oakland Middle School, and Prescott Elementary. Next month, we will start at Lincoln, Lafayette and Hoover elementary schools.

We are starting to make a lot of progress with asthma management as children, parents, and school staffs get to know us. Already we have administered inhalation therapy on board, thus saving trips to the emergency room (ER). We are seeing patients now every 4-5 weeks and with consistent education and following of their asthma plans, children are being kept out of the (ER). Thus far, we have received 104 referrals, treated 74 patients, with over 119 contact visits (encounters). We have administered 32 H1N1 vaccinations.

We are pleased to introduce our newPediatric Allergist to our staff: Rebecca G. Piltch, M.D. – Dr. Piltch received her M.D. degree from Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Pediatric Residency, Children’s Hospital, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. Allergy/Immunology Fellowship, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. American Boards in Pediatrics and Allergy and Immunology.

Lastly, we are saddened at the sudden passing of our Medical Director, Dr. Mary Alice Murphy. We send condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.

PHOTO (upper right): Jennifer Louie, MD with unknown patient

PHOTO (lower right): Nataliya W. Kushnir, MD, Priscilla Ward, RT, with reporter and Breathmobile ® patients

Ekua Taylor-Walker1-7-10: Happy New Year Everyone! We have been approved by the Oakland Unified School District! We are pleased to announce that the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) has approved us to provide Breathmobile ® services to OUSD children and families. We expect to begin services in February to four schools in West Oakland: PLACE @ Prescott (formerly Prescott Elementary School), West Oakland Middle School, Lafayette Elementary School, and Hoover Elementary School. We are also considering expanding into Richmond and San Pablo where the need is quite great. We continue to provide the H1N1 vaccine on the Breathmobile®. Our Medical Director, Dr. Mary-Alice Murphy and I will be attending the National Breathmobile® Conference in New Orleans in March. This annual conference brings together Breathmobile® staff from all over the U.S. to share best practices. There are Breathmobiles® in operation in California, Alabama, Phoenix, Maryland, and Chicago. PHOTO: Ekua Taylor-Walker, RN, MS, NP working with a young patient at Wilson Elementary School in San Leandro

12-16-09: Our team is providing services in Emeryville and San Leandro! Things are moving along nicely in these two school districts. We made our 3rd visit to Anna Yates Elementary School in Emeryville and started giving H1N1 flu shots there yesterday. We are still waiting for final approval to begin serving children in the Oakland Unified School District. We hope to add 7-8 schools there in January 2010. We plan to expand into the City of Richmond in early 2010!

We do more than just asthma diagnosis, screening, education, and treatment on the Breathmobile®. We are also providing inhalation treatments, as well as diabetes screening with overweight children. These children will be referred to Children’s Hospital Pediatric Nutrition Clinic.

Dr. Burns recieving the Orchid AwardOn another note, Dr. Burns received the Orchid Award on December 1st from Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America in Los Angeles at their annual Orchid Ball (see photo). The Orchid Award, the most prestigious award given by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, is presented to an individual who has illustrated a tremendous commitment to the Foundation’s service program, mission and goals. Past recipients include: Irwin Loiterstein, Linda and Cliff Eason, Bill Voelker, Jane and Whitney Harris, Raymond Slavin, M.D., Phillip Korenblat, M.D., Michael Borts, M.D., Marty Hendin, Marilyn Horst, Rowena Simpson, David S. Spewak, W. Randolph Baker and William J. Gleason.

We wish you a joyous holiday season and a most prosperous new year! Happy Holidays!

The Team11-4-09: The Breathmobile® started at San Leandro Unified School District (SLUSD) today!! Our crew started seeing children at two SLUSD schools today, Woodrow Wilson Elementary and John Muir Middle School. We will start with Oakland Unified School District at the end of the month. We are pleased to welcome Mary Alice Murphy, MD as our Medical Director. Dr. Murphy specializes in Pediatric Allergy & Asthma. “Everyone is enthusiastic about the Breathmobile ®, not only the crew, the parents, and the schools, but the community and our partners. Everyone is excited and wants to help. They want us to succeed. I feel good about that. I really believe that the community wants us to succeed.”

PHOTO: Breathmobile Crew at Anna Yates Elementary School in Emeryville: (left to right, back row): Nancy Dunne, NP, Spencer Weir, RN, Ekua Nayena Taylor Walker, RN, MS NP, Jennifer Louie, MD. (front): Priscilla Ward, RT

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update: In response to the H1N1 pandemic, we will be carrying the H1N1 vaccine on the Breathmobile® for children with asthma and their parents. For more information, please call 510-763-1880.

10-1-09: Read the San Francisco Examiner Article about our Breathmobile®:

9-17-09: Letter from Juliette Dunn, Director of Food Services & Wellness, Emeryville Unified School District “First, Dr. Burns and the staff at Prescott-Joseph, ‘Thank You.’ Your efforts and dedication made the ribbon cutting work successfully and most of all, it is a benefit to the students at Ann Yates… The Breathmobile is a hit at Anna Yates. Parents and students are stopping me in the halls and calling me to take advantage of this resource, even if there student does not have asthma. After the ceremony, we parked the Breathmobile on the yard and started seeing students. We saw about 12 families… We were successful for the first visit of the Breathmobile… Thank you again to all who participated. It does take a village.”

Ribbon Cutting9-14-09: We had a very successful ribbon cutting and press conference today! Over 50 people attended, including representatives from Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), Port of Oakland, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), California Chapter, Emeryville Unified School District, Keith Carson’s Office, Nancy Skinner’s Office, First Five, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As each distinguished guest spoke, it was clear that this is truly a community effort, and it will take continued community support to tackle this community problem. We thank all our sponsors and we especially commend the Emeryville USD for taking the stand to be our first Northern California Breathmobile® site. Watch the KCBS news story here:

Photo: (left to right): Jaguanana Lathan, Principal, Anna Yates, Ouida J. Cooper-Rodriguez, Deputy Director, PJCCE, Washington Burns, MD, Executive Director, Breathmobile®, Jack Broadbent, CEO, BAAQMD, and Cynthia Verdugo-Peralta, President, Board of Directors, AAFA-CA Chapter

9-2-09: Join us for our Ribbon Cutting & Press Conference on September 14th! On Monday, September 14, 2009 the Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement, Inc. (PJCCE) will host a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at Anna Yates Elementary School, 1070 41st Street in Emeryville as it launches the first ever Breathmobile® in Northern California. The press conference and ceremony will start at 9am and will include members of the Emeryville School Board, City elected officials, Alameda County representatives, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America based out of Los Angeles. We will start seeing patients at 10am. Light refreshments will be provided. Click here to view the invitation.

8-27-09: Click here to view Dr. Burns’ “Newsmakers” Comcast Interview. (!

7-22-09: We have received the license! Emeryville will be our first school site in September! We want to thank everyone who helped us get the license. It was no small effort. We are ready to go! Stay tuned! More to come soon about our kick-off!

7-16-09: We have received approval to operate our Breathmobile® from the California Department of Public Health!! We are anxiously waiting to receive the license in the mail! We are finalizing our crew to begin at the beginning of the school year. The first school district we will serve will be Emeryville. We also plan to serve schools in West Oakland, East Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro. We have also been invited to serve Bayview/Hunter’s Point and Contra Costa County. A kick-off ceremony will be held on our first day of operation. “It has slowly come to me that we’re finally doing something about asthma management for low-income people and I can’t wait to get started,” says Washington Burns, MD, Executive Director of the Breathmobile ®. “It’s hard to believe we are finally ready to go.”

6-3-09: On Friday, May 29th, we had our final inspection from the California Department of Public Health and it went well. We are starting to put together our crew and it looks like our first school will be in Emeryville in early July. I want to thank Mary Frazier, our Asthma Educator, and Felita Jones with the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. Felita is the Program Director for the Breathmobile® programs in California. They both have been very supportive in helping us get our program together. I am excited the program is finally beginning and we can bring these much needed services to our community. Please visit: for a great blog article about our Breathmobile®. Thanks to Kwan Booth for writing it! That’s it for now. Have a great week!

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