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Family Finds Care at Neighborhood Health Center

As the mother of two small children, Sasha Williams, 32, understands the importance of being well-informed on how to handle her children’s medical conditions. Her oldest, Kaden Sean, now 8, was born prematurely and, within the first eleven months of his young life, developed a lung infection called bronchiolitis. Williams was told that he would more than likely develop asthma. As he grew older, Kaden’s asthma worsened and Williams found herself in and out of emergency rooms.

She knew that in order to help her son, she needed a better understanding on how to deal with asthma. She turned to Dr. Daniela Atanassova-Lineva at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health located in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of Queens for care and guidance.

“She took care of us,” Williams states. “She explained to me how asthma can affect my child and how to stay on top of it. I learned to identify triggers that could aggravate his condition and to be mindful of his allergies or when he catches a cold.”

For the next eight years, Williams continued to see Dr. Atanassova-Lineva, heeding her every advice – from treating her son with a nebulizer when breathing became difficult to having him get a flu shot to build up his immunity. Within five years, Kaden’s condition improved.

“Asthma and allergies are most common among children, but fortunately these days we have different ways to diagnose and control them,” Dr. Atanassova-Lineva comments. “We use different forms of medications to treat these conditions – inhaled steroids in the form of pumps or nasal sprays, bronchodilators, and antihistamines. We also believe in building up a child’s immune system to better tolerate allergens – like dust, mold, animal dander, cockroaches – and introducing solids to infants between four and six months of age. We involve the family in monitoring the child’s condition by sending text messages as reminders and coming up with an action plan when flare-ups occur.”

Dr. Atanassova-Lineva is just one of many clinicians who provide care at NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health centers located throughout the five boroughs. These community-based centers represent an important part of the health system’s outpatient services and offer a range of services from adult medicine to pediatrics at convenient locations in many underserved neighborhoods.

“We do more than just practice medicine,” Dr. Atanassova-Lineva says. “As providers, we are here to treat the person as a whole – the body, mind, and soul. We offer not only care, but support for both the patient and their families.”

For Williams, Gotham Health became the choice for care for both of her kids. Her youngest child, 7-month-old Klynn Rose, suffers from allergies to cow-produced milk, making it difficult for the baby to digest formula.

“My daughter would get severe colic, rash, and diarrhea from drinking milk,” Williams says. “With Dr. Atanassova-Lineva’s help, we found out that Klynn Rose was allergic to a certain protein found in cow-based milk. We tried different types of formula until we found one that she could easily drink without getting a reaction.”

The care and support that Williams found at the Gotham Health center was immeasurable. “My family has received the best care here. I’ve developed relationships with the staff. They really care about you. And because of Dr. Atanassova-Lineva, I have healthy children.”

These are the NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health centers that provide pediatric, adolescent, or adult primary care.