Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: Missouri (cont’d)
Neighborhood Organization for Pediatric Asthma Management in the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition
Washington University and Grace Hill Neighborhood Services
St. Louis, MO
Edwin B. Fisher, AB, PhD
The Neighborhood Asthma Coalition (NAC) was implemented in 1991 to emphasize neighbor-to-neighbor support and encouragement of asthma management through the Grace Hill Wellness Initiative, which includes neighbor involvement in governance through neighborhood-based Wellness Councils. Grace Hill Neighborhood Services is a health and social service agency that has been active in low-income neighborhoods of St. Louis, MO for more than 95 years. NAC was conducted in four separate neighborhoods in St. Louis, with populations that were predominantly low income and African American.
The objective of NAC was to determine if such a community-based intervention, conducted through a well-established neighborhood organization in St. Louis could improve awareness of asthma, change attitudes about its care, improve asthma management practices, and reduce the need for acute care (hospitalizations and emergency room visits) for asthma.
NAC included promotional campaigns to increase awareness and asthma management courses (based on the American Lung Association Open Airways program) in schools and neighborhood settings. The program also involves neighborhood residents in a number of activities including planning programs, being trained to implement asthma management classes, assisting in coalition activities, and acting as Change Asthma With Social Support (CASS) workers to provide basic education and support to parents and children.
In its three years of existence NAC reached its intended audience, brought about changes in management practices, and was associated with promising reductions in acute care rates among active participants in the program.
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