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In Massachusetts, more than 82,000 children from kindergarten to 8th grade are affected by asthma - a higher prevalence of asthma than in most states in the U.S. Unmanaged asthma impacts children’s daily lives, limiting their physical activity and play time and impacting their school attendance.
The MGH Chelsea Pediatric Asthma Program links pediatric patients with asthma to a Pediatric Asthma Program Coordinator, with the goal of improving asthma management. The coordinator facilitates communication and follow-up between the provider, the patient, and his or her parents/guardians to improve asthma knowledge and asthma care, and to develop an action plan to which the patient can adhere.
Following provider visits, the coordinator reinforces the patient’s understanding of asthma and asthma care by reviewing information about disease triggers, symptoms, and medications. The coordinator, the patient, and his/her caregiver(s) also discuss individualized action plans. Together, they identify barriers to follow-through and strategies to overcome challenges such as responding to early triggers, removing allergens in the environment, and maintaining a disciplined controller medication regime.
Patients are referred to colleagues within the health center and partners in community agencies who provide additional assistance with food resources, housing, domestic violence, and other family needs. When appropriate, the coordinator conducts home visits to reinforce asthma teaching and to identify potential environmental hazards in the home.
During FY 2011. a total of 126 patents were served, with 102 patients receiving patient education regarding ashtma triggers, symptoms, medications and more.
Several efforts were made to help improve the flow of asthmatic patients through the clinic. Patients with severe asthma were recruited to participate in Tune Up Clinics. Patients met with the doctor and participated in a group or individual educational session. 122 providers participated and served 27 patients.
Flu clinics were held bi-weekly from October 2010 through January 2011. The percent of asthma patients who received flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 season was 88%, up from 78% for the 2009-2010 season.
14 home visits were conducted. Visits included a review of medications, education about asthma triggers, and environmental assessments of home triggers. The most common triggers identified were dust mites and household pests. Each family developed cleaning strategies and identified ways to reduce trigger exposure in the home.
MassGeneral Hospital for Children(MGHFC) recently rolled out two new clinics – the Angelman Syndrome Clinic and the Child and Adolescent Medical Psychiatry (ChAMP) Clinic – and a new weight and asthma program, Inspired Health.
MGH Hotline 12.17.10 MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) pediatrician-researcher Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, FAAP, has been a vocal advocate of the health and protection of children from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke.
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