Children with asthma whose families enrolled in a community-based asthma education program experienced fewer hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and missed school days. With childhood asthma rates in northern Manhattan four times the national average, the Ambulatory Care Network at New York-Presbyterian Hospital partnered with the community of Washington-Heights Inwood Network (WIN) to improve outcomes for children with poorly controlled asthma by providing culturally relevant asthma education.

Participating families who completed the one-year WIN for Asthma program reported a greater than 50% decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and a 30% decrease in school absenteeism. Caregivers also reported that they were significantly more confident in caring and controlling their child’s asthma after participating in the program.

To date, community health workers have enrolled 400 families. The program targets caregivers of children from birth to 18 years with high-risk asthma.

The program uses community-based, bilingual, health workers who act as a single point of contact for the families to educate them on the best ways to control their child’s asthma. The first 3 months of the program focus on educating the family about asthma and the treatments necessary for their child’s optimal care. The family can also receive a home environmental assessment to identify asthma triggers—such as dust and tobacco smoke—and education on ways it can rectify these issues.

Source: Newswise