Texarkana, Texas – CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System will provide a free Mobile Pediatric Asthma Program for school-age children throughout the month of August. The Spirit of St. Michael and a specially trained staff will offer asthma screenings and breathing tests, personal asthma management plans, parent and child education as well as referral to community resources and facilitation of follow-up care as needed.
The program is offered at no charge to participants, but appointments are required and can be made by calling 903-614-2812. Dates and locations for August include: Genesis PrimeCare, 1400 College Drive, Texarkana, TX, Friday, Aug. 1; Calvary Chapel, 307 W. New Boston Road, Nash, TX, Aug. 8, and Church on the Rock, 1601 Mall Drive, Texarkana, TX, on Aug. 13. Appointments will be available between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System and the University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler launched the Mobile Pediatric Asthma Program to work with the underserved pediatric population in 12 Texas counties in their respective service areas. The goal of the project is to implement a collaborative program of chronic disease management for children who have serious respiratory problems (asthma/allergies) in order to improve access to care and potentially prevent hospitalizations.[quote_center]“The target population for this project is children who have uncontrolled and/or undiagnosed asthma or chronic respiratory problems,”[/quote_center]
“The target population for this project is children who have uncontrolled and/or undiagnosed asthma or chronic respiratory problems,” said Andre’ Storey, Director of Population Health Management for CHRISTUS St. Michael. “It is expected that many of the children who gain access to care through this project will be Medicaid eligible/indigent and are not currently working with a primary care provider on a regular basis to control their disease process.”
“Program participants who do not have a primary care provider will be referred as needed,” Storey explained. “Children receiving the screenings and breathing tests who already have a physician or primary care provider will be referred back to their physicians.”
“We work with families of pediatric asthma/respiratory patients through this program to strengthen self-managed asthma care, resulting in fewer asthma attacks, decreased school absenteeism, fewer Emergency Room visits and hospitalizations, and ultimately, a healthier, happier life,” Storey said.
Childhood asthma developed into a major public health concern with the prevalence of the disease increasing 75% overall in the U.S. between 1980 and 1994 and 74% among children, ages 5 to 14 years. Currently, known cases of childhood asthma exceed 7 million in the U.S. with asthma identified as the leading cause of school absenteeism.
“We can impact the health of communities in this region through the Mobile Pediatric Asthma Program by increasing the number of children diagnosed with asthma and helping to equip them and their families with the tools and knowledge to successfully manage the disease and other related respiratory illnesses,” said Storey.
Symptoms for asthma include coughing that is worse with exercise, inhaled allergens, weather changes, stress, and emotional outbursts; viral infections that go from just nasal and throat involvement to a bad cough that lasts more than 10 days; wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness/pain, feeling tired or fatigued, needing or choosing to rest or sit out of fun activities, and missing school because of respiratory symptoms.
For more information regarding the Mobile Pediatric Asthma Program or to make an appointment, call 903-614-2812.