Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: Arkansas
Project A.I.R.: Asthma is Resolvable
St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center
Hot Springs, AR
Ticia Cockrell, RN
St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center initiated Project A.I.R. (Asthma in Resolvable) in 2000 with the goal of combating pediatric asthma in Hot Springs, AR and 5 surrounding counties through in-school educational sessions and case management.
Low income, rural children identified as having asthma and their families receive a 1-3 hour case management visit from an RN in the home, school or clinic office, with brief follow- up phone calls to track peak flow readings and asthma management over the course of 6 months. During the visit, the nurse provides general asthma education and instruction on how to use inhalers and peak flow meters. Program nurses arrange physician appointments, transportation and medications, and the program pays for these services as necessary. The program communicates with physicians and nurses through written summaries of patient health status, phone calls to the office and by accompanying families to appointments when necessary. Program nurses also assist families in applying for state aid such as Medicaid and food stamps.
The educational sessions take place in the school with children identified as having asthma through an in-school asthma screening, and are taught by an RN during 45-minute classes once per week for 4 weeks. In these sessions, general asthma education on anatomy, triggers, medications and devices is given. The program also offers in-services by request to school personnel, daycare providers and school nurses using the ALA asthma in-service guidelines. The program incorporates elements of Open Airways for Schools, A is for Asthma and Power Breathing, and notes the ability to offer one-on-one case management in this area of Arkansas as a strength since these services are not offered through other programs.
Program evaluation indicated a positive impact on several health outcomes for children with asthma. The program ended in mid-2004.
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