South Side Pediatric Asthma Center

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , /

The south side of Chicago
is a very large community. There is roughly
about 900,000 people who live on the south side. They vary in income
from $10,000 a year for a family of four
up to 200 plus thousand for a family of four. Children on the
south side of Chicago have a prevalence rate
of asthma at about 17% compared to 9%
across the country. There are communities on
the south side of Chicago where 59% of the kids have
asthma and miss school on a regular basis
because of asthma or end up in the
emergency departments across the south side of Chicago
because of asthma conditions. It means missed days off
of work for the parents, missed days of
school for the child, and really can bring an economic
issue to the community because of all of those. And we have actually
higher death rates due to asthma in our children. Losing a child too young to
something that we can prevent is something that
affects all of us. Hey, hi, how are you guys doing? Asthma is an inflammatory
disease of the airways or the breathing
tubes of the lungs. It can cause permanent
changes in those airways if left untreated. So with early treatment, we
can have better outcomes. We are working to bring
improved care to asthma in the community itself
as a community effort to reduce this asthma epidemic
that we are currently in. We do things from sharing
the data and information on asthma in our community. We develop programs
together to treat asthma and to care for
persons with asthma. We’re working with Respiratory
Health Association, The Chicago Asthma Consortium,
Urban Health Initiative, La Rabida Children’s Hospital,
and Friend Family Health Center, to name but a few. We have four pillars
of excellence. The first pillar is clinical,
both inpatient and outpatient. The second pillar is
education, bringing education not only to the child but to
the family, the community, and other health care providers. The third pillar is
our community outreach and our community
partnerships, especially with the schools and
churches, to not only provide clinical care but
education and to bring back knowledge translation. The fourth pillar is that
knowledge translation or research so that we can
improve asthma care, diagnosis, and treatment down the line. In the south side
of Chicago, we have been able to work with
the mobile medical units. And we have been able to go
to the Chicago Public Schools to help educate
family and students as well as to attend
church events and health fairs to educate them as well. I truly love being able to
teach parents and children the appropriate
medications, making them aware of what the
signs and symptoms of asthma are, how to treat
them, and getting them to be able to identify and
get treatment appropriately. The research that we’re doing
in the schools in Chicago centers around
working with schools to identify best practices and
resources to help implement existing policies and
new models of care so that children with asthma
have the best quality of life and education throughout
their school years. An example of
research we’re doing, in terms of a specific project,
is starting at the beginning. We need to actually
identify children who have asthma to best provide
the policies, the programs, and the resources so they
can get that optimal care. And what we truly
hope to develop are pragmatic, evidence-based
models so that kids with asthma have the same
experiences in school that those without asthma do. So these are both
your pumps, right? Yeah. OK. I have a one-child-at-a-time
philosophy for asthma management. My belief is that when you
change the life for that one child, they’re able to play,
they’re able to go to school, they’re not hospitalized. So not only have you
impacted the quality of life for that one child, but they’ll
now go and tell their friends, hey, my asthma’s
under great control. And their friends will
sit there and say, hey, I want my asthma
under great control. And they’ll talk to their
parents, and it’ll come back. The Comer Children’s
Asthma Center, it’s a great development
for the community because what it is
doing is trading on the strengths of
the university, which is collaboration, and
this pulls in people from multiple disciplines
and is intended to work through the community
and to increase and improve the outcome for children while
integrating the community with the powerful research and
clinical care that takes place at Comer Children’s Hospital.

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