In the spirit of Dr. Haggerty's teachings, we present an overview of our work to improve care for children with asthma in the context of 3 lessons learned: 1) the importance of providing integrated services across disciplinary boundaries for children with chronic illness, 2) the need to move from a care model focused only on the individual child to a model focused on the child, family, and community, and 3) the need to expand beyond the local community and take a broad perspective on improving health on a national level. The goal of our program is to develop sustainable models to overcome the multiple obstacles to effective preventive care for urban children with asthma. The primary intervention for our original School-Based Asthma Therapy program was directly observed administration of preventive asthma medications in school (with dose adjustments on the basis of National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines). We found that children who received preventive medications in school through directly observed therapy had improved outcomes across multiple outcome measures. Our subsequent asthma programs have focused on dissemination and sustainability, with the incorporation of communication technology to enhance the system of care. We are currently testing the ‘School-Based Telemedicine Enhanced Asthma Management’ program, including 400 children with persistent asthma from the Rochester City School District. This program includes directly observed administration of preventive asthma medication at school, and school-based telemedicine to assure appropriate evaluation, preventive medication prescription, and follow-up care. It is designed to implement and sustain guideline-based asthma care through existing community infrastructure, and could serve as a model for the integration of services in rural as well as urban communities.
- chronic illness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health