Crozer Partners with CEP to Improve Asthma Management
The Kids Asthma Management Program (K.A.M.P.) at Crozer-Chester Medical Center joined forces with the Chester Environmental Partnership (CEP) to conduct a special home-based asthma education and environmental remediation program for Chester City.
The Chester project was one of five selected for implementation by the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 State Environmental Justice Cooperative Agreement Program. The Chester Home Asthma Prevention Program (CHAPP) was selected for its potential to achieve measurable and meaningful environmental and public health results. The three-year initiative received $280,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and EPA to address both indoor and outdoor asthma triggers.
Richard Scott, a student from Swarthmore University, alongside his statistics professor, Dr. Lynne Steuerle Schofield, provided a final data analysis and recently they presented a paper with K.A.M.P on the program’s impact. The evaluation demonstrates the success that the program has had.
K.A.M.P. conducted the program for Chester City families with asthmatic children between the ages of 2 – 17 years. The program ended in September 2012. The program taught families how to reduce or remove common household asthma triggers, reviewed the proper use of asthma medications and empowered families to work in partnership with their health care providers on an Asthma Action Plan. Families received an “asthma-friendly home kit” that included such items as allergen-proof bedding and non-toxic cleaning supplies. Families learned how to keep their home and surrounding areas trigger-free. CEP conducted neighborhood block clean-ups to help reduce triggers such as rodents. Swarthmore’s data analysis found that CHAPP made it possible for participating families to reduce emergency room visits and school absenteeism, as well as use of rescue medications for their children.
“We are encouraged by the fact that CHAPP had such a positive impact and that we served 132 children with dedicated part-time peer counselors,” says Program Manager Zalika Shani. “Just think of what we could do with funding to continue this program and expand it to more communities.”
K.A.M.P. was originally developed in 1999. The program was designed to provide school-based asthma identification, education and support services initially serving the Chester Upland, Chichester and Upper Darby school districts. It now serves all school districts and Early Learning Centers/Daycares in Delaware County.
K.A.M.P. objectives are:
• Increase participation of students with asthma in all school
activities, including physical education and sports.
• Increase self-management of asthma by students.
• Improve asthmatic students’ self-perception. .
• Reduce exposure to known allergens and irritants in the school and home.
K.A.M.P. services include:
• Asthma screening.
• Referral to lung function testing.
• Group education for students, parents and school staff.
• Distribution of asthma action plan forms to encourage the development of individualized management plans.
• Facilitate partnership between families, school nurses, health care providers and others in asthma management.
• Support of special programs: Asthma camps, asthma awareness days, community asthma awareness.
Shani continues to oversee the K.A.M.P. program, which enhances children’s self-management skills by providing spacers, peak flow meters, asthma action plan forms and other tools during open airways education sessions along with instruction for their use. Environmental awareness sessions help identify potential asthma triggers in the school environment along with strategies to eliminate or reduce exposure to these hazards. “Ideally, our hope is that the positive results of the CHAPP evaluation will provide future grant opportunities to enable us to help more children improve the quality of their health and their lives despite having the diagnosis of asthma,” Shani concludes.
For more information about the Kids Asthma Management Program (K.A.M.P.), call (610) 447-6030.