Sixty-four St. Louis African American children with asthma accompanied by parents came to the Better Family Life, Cultural, Educational, and Business Center to learn more about how to manage their chronic disease at a fun-filled, fast-paced event called the St. Louis Asthma Ready Surge project on Saturday, October 26, 2013, from noon to 5 p.m. These self-management techniques were taught through games and evidence based cartoon videos with asthma control messages stimulated learning for parents and children.

An asthma health assessment (check-up) by trained Asthma Ready® staff from Community Asthma Partnerships throughout the state, and other community resources (which included equipment such as spacers and peak flow meters) were provided for each child to identify steps that can be taken by parents and children to improve asthma health. The project, “Asthma Ready St. Louis Surge” was a collaborative event conceived by the Asthma Ready® Communities (ARC) program of University of Missouri Health Systems.
Since 2003 the University of Missouri has maintained a team of health care professionals to develop and implement innovative public health approaches to asthma care and management. ARC is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Missouri Foundation for Health.

The St. Louis Integrated Health Network, a key partner for the event, has been working with ARC and community safety net health centers to enhance services to improve asthma health outcomes for over a year. Other IHN members and partners for this event include the City of St. Louis Department of Health, St. Louis County Department of Health, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America – St. Louis Chapter, and the safety net community health centers.

Nineteen formal letters were sent to known primary care providers by Asthma Ready Communities to alert them that the child is either “not well controlled” (10 children) or “very poorly controlled” (9 children) based on assessment impairment and claims data analysis. Follow-up phone calls, Asthma Ready provider referrals, and home visits are being planned for in 30-90-180 day increments to help families improve care of these children.

For more information please see this document.