SoCalGas and Family HealthCare Network Team Up to Reduce Effects of Air Pollution for Children with Asthma in Kings and Tulare Counties

Utility Partners with Nonprofit Healthcare Provider to Distribute Air Purifiers to Kids with Asthma in Counties Most Affected by Air Pollution

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Family HealthCare Network today announced that they are working together to give away air purifiers to children with asthma or severe allergies in Kings and Tulare Counties. SoCalGas provided 300 purifiers for the program, and Family HealthCare Network will distribute the units to eligible pediatric patients for free.

Family HealthCare Network patients may receive a purifier through a referral during a visit with their primary care provider. The purifiers can provide relief from asthma symptoms by removing airborne allergens and particulates and reducing odors.

“This program is one of many efforts SoCalGas supports to reduce air pollution and its effects on Californians, and to raise awareness about the role natural gas can play in cleaning our air,” said George Minter, regional vice president of external affairs and environmental strategy at SoCalGas. “We are also advocating for the state to support policies that put more clean natural gas and biogas trucks on the road. The simple switch to natural gas and biogas engines in heavy duty trucking would drastically and immediately improve air quality in communities along our freeways, improving the health of thousands of children who suffer from severe asthma and allergies, as well as addressing our climate change challenge.”   

“We are grateful for the partnership with SoCalGas and the generous donation. Our patients will greatly benefit from the air purification units, in particular, children currently living with asthma,” said Kerry Hydash, president and CEO at Family HealthCare Network.  

According to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2017” report, Kings and Tulare Counties rank as the first and third, respectively, most polluted county by year-round particle pollution in the nation. Air pollution can worsen respiratory symptoms, and communities in heavy traffic areas like Kings and Tulare Counties, where high truck and car traffic can be found along Interstate 5 and Highway 99, are especially vulnerable. Using cleaner natural gas technology in heavy-duty trucks can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

In addition to donating air purifiers to help address the health issues of air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley, SoCalGas recently partnered with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District to bring awareness to the trucking and truck dealership communities about the benefits associated with near-zero heavy duty natural gas trucks and state incentives to help offset the initial cost of purchasing these vehicles. This effort resulted in over 200 new applications for natural gas trucks.

Family HealthCare Network operates 23 locations throughout Kings and Tulare Counties, including 19 community health centers, that have served over 230,000 patients. Six percent of the organization’s patients have a diagnosis of a form of asthma. The air purifier distribution program launched last week and will continue until supplies lasts. For more information, please call 1-800-960-3426. 

About SoCalGas

Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.  

SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future. The company has committed to spending $6 billion over the next five years to modernize and upgrade its gas infrastructure, while also reducing methane emissions. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook

About Family HealthCare Network

Family HealthCare Network is a private nonprofit organization that operates 23 sites, 19 of which are federally qualified health centers located throughout Tulare and Kings Counties. Our mission is to provide quality health care to everyone in the communities we serve. With just under 200 clinical providers in our network, we provide access to a wide range of coordinated health services, including family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, adult and children’s dentistry, pharmacy, internal medicine, behavioral health, nutritional counseling, health education, case management, community health and outreach, and eligibility assistance. An array of specialty services such as optometry, chiropractic care, podiatry, perinatology, endocrinology and general surgery complement our full list of services offered.  Family HealthCare Network also offers free transportation and extended evening and weekend hours. FHCN is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home and is dually recognized by The Joint Commission with its Gold Seal of Approval® for Patient Quality and Safety and as a Patient Centered Primary Medical Home.

For more information about Family HealthCare Network, please call 1-877-960-3426, or visit our website at www.FHCN.org, like us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/fhcn.org or follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/FHCN

SoCalGas: Irene Nguyen, 213-244-2442, inguyen@semprautilities.com or Family HealthCare Network: Cristina Gutierrez, 559-737-4932, crgutierrez@fhcn.org

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Southern California Gas Company