Clinics in Western New Mexico Complete Program to Help Children, Parents Better Manage Asthma
(September 27, 2017) -
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Six New Mexico health clinics recently completed the Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma program to guide children and their parents in better managing their asthma. Sponsored by American Lung Association in New Mexico and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM), the program was developed to reduce asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Participating clinics include: Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services in Gallup; Acoma, Canoncito, Laguna Hospital in Acoma Pueblo; St. Anthony Pediatrics in Anthony; and Ben Archer Health Center, New Mexico Primary Care Group Pediatrics and Rio Grande Medical in Las Cruces.
“The Enhancing Care program is an in-depth training program that allows health professionals to expand and deepen their care for children with asthma,” said Kathleen Moseley, the regional asthma program director for the American Lung Association in New Mexico. “The six participating clinics of the program now have an array of tools and resources to help their patients with asthma live healthy, active lives.”
Throughout the year-long program, the clinics developed procedures to improve care for children with asthma, from the first appointment to implementing a treatment plan. They began by assessing their current asthma care and then attended clinic meetings and trainings conducted by the American Lung Association, which offered mentoring and technical assistance. When patients with asthma visit one of these clinics, they’ll administer a breathing test, update their action plan and review and adjust medication. To ensure the success of these clinics, the American Lung Association will work with the clinics to do a 12- and 18-month review.
“Through the asthma quality improvement project with the American Lung Association we have been able to improve our care of patients with asthma and have learned to work more collaboratively as a clinical team," said Holly Herr Stravers, of College Clinic, Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services. "Although the project has come to a close, we will continue to work together as a team to ensure we not only maintain our quality of care but continuously improve."
The Enhancing Care for program allowed the Acoma, Canoncito, Laguna Hospital to establish an asthma clinic that offers a comprehensive approach to asthma care for their patients.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes breathing difficult, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention accounts for 439,000 hospitalizations and 1.8 million emergency department visits. Asthma is also the third leading cause of child hospitalization. In New Mexico, an estimated 44,500 children and 155,800 adults live with asthma. While there is no cure for asthma, it can be managed with proper tools and resources.
Originally a three-year program, the Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma program launched in 2012 in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and has been extended an additional three years based on the success of the program. Data collected by BCBSNM shows that in 12 participating New Mexico clinics, asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits have declined 80 percent after two years. In addition, participating clinics in other parts of New Mexico have adopted this new method to treat other chronic illnesses.
The Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma program has the opportunity to work with five clinics in its upcoming program. Contact Moseley at [email protected]. More asthma information and resources can also be accessed through the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-LUNGUSA or at Lung.org/asthma.
About the American Lung Association in Colorado
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit the newly redesigned website: Lung.org.