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The Chicago Plan for Asthma

September 21, 2018
The "Chicago Plan" and the asthma hotspots it's fighing to help!  From the Chicago Sun-Times: Should the residents of Chicago be taking these issues more seriously?
Chicago's rate of asthma among black children is twice the national average. Although asthma can be passed down genetically it is also a result of poor air quality. According to the  Chicago SunTimes, "Chicago is the nation’s epicenter for asthma disparity, with African-American children on the South and West sides dying from asthma at eight times the rate of their white counterparts."
The CHICAGO Plan aimed to create specific health plans for patients that had children in these hotspots who suffered from asthma. Specially designed care plans included community health workers who went to the children's homes for six months to ensure they were following doctors orders and were getting their prescriptions filled. It also helped to pinpoint asthma triggers in their homes. 
The CHICAGO Plan enrolled 450 children ages 5 to 11 living in asthma '“hot spots”' on the South and West sides who visited the hospital’s emergency department." The results showed a difference was made when the families were able to visit doctors more frequently and keep their prescriptions filled. Many different hospitals in the Chicagoland area participated in designing these plans. The funding however came from Washington D.C with $4 million from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute.   The full article from the Chicago Sun Times can be found here:
Fighting allergy and asthma symptoms on one's own can be difficult, especially if it is a child that suffers from it. The results showed the following, "the families in the extra help group were more likely to get prescriptions for inhaled controller medicines (about 70 percent compared to 40 percent), fill prescriptions in the pharmacy (about 70 percent compared to 40 percent), and attend follow-up appointments (about 50 percent compared to 30 percent)."
People underestimate the amount of relief a good asthma specialist can provide. In a city with poor air quality it is important for residents to be proactive in keeping prescriptions filled and speaking to a specialist about a health plan that works for them.
We are happy to be playing our part at Chicago Allergy & Asthma.  We are routinely screening children for asthma and within the past two months are participating in 3 local health fairs to screen participants for asthma.  It's our way of giving back to the community.