Lung Association Enhances Asthma Care for Chicago’s At-Risk Children

Continues work with local medical institutions to address racial, ethnic disparities

CHICAGO (February 19, 2014)

Chicago families cope with significant disparities in asthma rates due to socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity. As a result, Chicago’s African American and Latino children are twice as likely to be hospitalized, have emergency room visits, and four times more likely to die from asthma than Caucasian children.

That’s why the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago, continues its work with Chicago’s school nurses, community clinics and local hospitals that serve high-risk populations to improve pediatric asthma care to an estimated 30,000 children. Today, the Association announced the second group of medical institutions that it will train in specialized asthma systems change process as part of their “Enhancing Asthma Care Project.” They are: 

  • Erie Family Health Center - Clemente High School
  • Erie Family Health Center - Johnson Elementary
  • Erie Family Health Center - Westside Elementary
  • Kushner Family, Adolescent and Addiction Medicine
  • Mobile CARE Foundation
  • NTA Health and Wellness Center
  • University of Chicago Medicine Respiratory Services

“There are approximately 60,000 children suffering from asthma in Chicago. Most of their families cope with burdens that go beyond the disease. Families living in poverty deal with more environmental issues like allergens and irritants at home and school, as well as, increased exposure to pollution. In addition, the lack of family resources for appropriate asthma self-management is affected by higher levels of chronic stress, lower adherence to medications, lack of transportation and competing family priorities like food and housing,” said Meghan Miller, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. 

“So we’re proud of the work we’re doing with these community based clinics. Through our partnership with these clinics, they will be institutionalizing processes and procedures to ensure high-quality asthma care.” she said.  

The first training will take place in April at the Association’s Chicago office downtown. Followed by spirometry training in the summer and more sessions throughout the year. The first cohort of clinics for this quality improvement project wrapped up in the winter of 2013 and a third cohort will kick-off training in the fall this year.

Media contact: James A. Martinez; O: 312-445-2501; C: 312-718-5875; E: James.Martinez@Lung.org.

About The Enhancing Asthma Care Project
The Enhancing Asthma Care Project is supported by the Health Care Service Corporation of Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, through their Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Initiative, and lead by the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. This joint initiative aims to work with over 60 clinics that serve high-risk populations to improve pediatric asthma care to an estimated 30,000 children.

About the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago
Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.LungIL.org.