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4/10/19 news article

home visits to help manage asthma

In December 2017, Victoria Dudley, a single mother of four boys all under the age of six, attended a parent asthma meeting at Cleveland Elementary School.

“Two of my boys suffer from asthma,” says Victoria. “I went to the parent meeting to learn more about what I could do to help manage their asthma better.”

After filling out the Child Asthma Risk Assessment Tool (CARAT), the family found they were eligible to receive additional services from Dayton Children’s Hospital to help manage the children’s asthma.

The program offers home visits by a Dayton Children’s community health worker. During the visit, the community health worker helps the family identify asthma triggers in the home. Triggers could be mold, pests, animal dander or secondhand smoke.

The community health worker teaches the families to mitigate the asthma triggers while connecting them to additional resources including education, food, utility assistance and activities for the children (after school and summer programs) as needed. The community health worker also determines if the children have asthma action plans, medications and medical devices including inhalers. If the community health worker identifies clinical issues, she will relay them to the child’s doctor. Follow-up visits with the family ensure they are adhering to changed behaviors, mediating triggers as recommended and attending clinical appointments.

“As I was completing a home visit for Victoria, I noticed that there were no working smoking detectors in the home,” says Synthia Copher, community health worker at Dayton Children’s. Synthia partnered with the Dayton Fire Department who was willing to come out and install a working smoke detector free of charge. Victoria and her family received two smoke and one carbon monoxide detector. In addition, Victoria received other resources including car seats, a vacuum, and mattress and pillow protectors to ensure all the children could be healthy and safe in their home and while traveling.

Victoria has taken recommendations for handling clutter and dusting by doing a deep cleaning of the home.

“I’m thankful for the home visit program at Dayton Children’s because I now know some of the things I can do to make my home safe for my children,” says Victoria.

“The Dayton Fire Department is taking a proactive approach to reducing risk in the community. Realizing over the years that the fire prevention office alone cannot reach all of our audiences, we seek to be involved in many partnerships throughout the community. When Synthia from Dayton Children’s reached out to us to put lifesaving smoke and carbon monoxide alarms into the homes of families they serve, we were eager to participate. We are not able to drive down the street and see which house is in need. By partnering with Dayton Children’s we have immediate knowledge of those members of the community in highest need and an ongoing relationship with a stakeholder who is equally interested in preventing injury and death. Through our partnership with Red Cross, Firehouse Subs, Dayton Firefighter’s Federal Credit Union, as well as many other partners and donors, we have been able to supply these necessary lifesaving tools. We continue to enjoy this partnership and look forward to many more community efforts with Dayton Children’s.” - Jason Eckert, fire prevention specialist, Dayton Fire Department