by Wendy Quinones, BSN, MSN, CPNP, Co-Director of the Childhood Asthma Initiative, Children's Health Fund’s New York Children's Health Project
I work in the South Bronx, an area that is no stranger to asthma as it has one of the highest rates of asthma prevalence not only in NYC but in the country. It’s sometimes frightening to think of the huge problem that asthma has become in areas like the South Bronx, but one day at a time, my colleagues and I are trying to help improve management of chronic asthma for thousands of medically underserved children and families through the Children’s Health Fund’s Childhood Asthma Initiative (CAI).
Currently implemented in CHF’s NYC and Washington DC programs, the CAI provides children with asthma access to the highest quality care—clinical visits and medication, asthma severity assessment, and even psychosocial services for families of asthma patients, who often experience the anxiety and depression that accompanies chronic illness. All of these services are supplemented by in-depth health education, including access to Children’s Health Fund’s Family Asthma Guide. The guide, available in both English and Spanish,is published annually and used as a complement to asthma care to help children and their families actively manage asthma symptoms. In fact, we received some great news last week that the guide won a 2010 Communicator Award of Distinction!! Considering the time, research, and team work that is involved in the production on this guide, it’s a great accomplishment to be recognized, but for us, the real reward is being able to watch children and families use the guide to control their asthma.
Our hope for the Family Asthma Guide is that individuals with asthma and their family members will educate themselves and others about the condition and that providers will use it when they are teaching patients about asthma. As we reiterate many times in the guide…The Goal Is Control!! If we can get a patients asthma under good control—allowing them to live an active life with no hospitalizations—we have done our job.
Have you used the guide before to learn about your own asthma or help someone understand about the condition? If so, please let us know what you think in the comments section below. We are always looking for feedback!