The occurrence of asthma is particularly high in Colorado, but asthma patients in Pueblo and El Paso counties are getting expert help thanks in part to efforts of Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Center, National Jewish Health and Kaiser Permanente.
The Asthma Toolkit II program is able to continue work in these counties thanks to a grant from Kaiser Permanente. The program delivers up-to-date equipment, training and materials to medical professionals via a free NIH evidence-based training package that includes spirometry equipment, classroom and in-office training along with patient education materials. The training allows medical staff to learn exactly how to use the EasyOne spirometers and interpret the results. Additionally they learn how to use the patient education materials to help better diagnose and manage asthma symptoms.
A good example of how the program works can be found at the Cripple Creek –Victor Mountain Health Center. This school-based clinic is affiliated with Peak Vista Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center based in Colorado Springs.
“People come here from lower elevations and they experience exercise induced asthma,” notes Lorrie Grube, PA-C at the clinic. The clinic has 25 young asthma patients who are being treated and monitored with the Asthma Toolkit spirometers. “We are thrilled with the spirometry because we can keep closer progress on each child. We can track it very closely to see if they are maintaining or if we need to add inhalers.
“We give the parents the toolkit materials and then they do some of the teaching as well. Children who are being treated are more stabilized and miss fewer school time hours than previously. Also, children feel safe and comfortable coming to the clinic in the school. Finally, they are more aware of their disease and more comfortable maintaining it.” Sady Mounts, RMA describes her experience with a teen patient who was convinced that nothing would work and he would always have trouble breathing. Now, after six months of treatment using the Asthma Toolkit process, he is able to see progress, is taking his medication and using his inhalers. His experience is fairly typical of students who take a more active role in their treatment with the Asthma Toolkit, notes Sady.
For more information Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Center, 719 544-7833 or <a href=”http://localhost/WWW.SECAHEC.org” target=”_blank”>WWW.SECAHEC.org.</a>