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5/6/16blog post

aligning to impact kids health

Members of the Dayton Asthma Alliance Members of the Dayton Asthma Alliance

As the director of the Center for Child Health and Wellness, I'm thrilled to announce the creation of the Dayton Asthma Alliance. The Dayton Asthma Alliance aims to positively impact the health and wellness of children with asthma in the Dayton area, focusing on the most at-risk populations.

It's amazing what can happen when an incredibly committed group of people can do when they work together for kids.

As we were planning for the Center for Child Health and Wellness about a year ago, we looked at the data. We identified that asthma is the number one reason children are admitted to Dayton Children’s and over 14,000 visits to the emergency department can be attributed to asthma. Asthma is also the most common chronic condition affecting children across the country, costing $56 billion in the U.S. each year. Ohio has a higher number of children struggling with asthma that the national rate and data suggests that Dayton-area figures are even higher.

And while the data shows that asthma is a huge problem we can't lose sight of what it means to a child with asthma.

A little girl recently told me her asthma made here feel like she was "a fish out of water." Asthma can impact every aspect of a child's life. They don’t feel well. They are missing school and falling behind in classwork. Their parents have to take off work, sometimes causing financial hardship. Their family life is disrupted.

While our doctors, nurses and therapists offer medications and breathing treatments, once that child leaves the hospital, other factors take over. With 20% of a child’s health determined by his or her environment and 40% determined by behavior – there is a great need to ensure children have healthy and safe places to live, learn, and play.

Our Alliance does just that. We've convened a group of cross-sector stakeholders that work with children and families in all different settings making the possibility to impact asthma much greater.

Early wins show promising signs. Continue to follow us on this journey!