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Officials laud program to reduce asthma triggers in public housing communities

Mayo Clinic
A child uses an inhaler to stave off the symptoms of an asthma attack
Credit Karl Malgiero/Delaware Public Media
Nemours manager of population health Sherani Patterson (left) with community and Healthy Homes advocate Stephanie Cain.

City, state and federal officials celebrated the achievements of a Nemours Children’s Health System program aimed at lowering asthma-related health problems in Delaware kids by reducing environmental triggers for the disease in public housing communities. 

The program was funded by a two year Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation grant that ends in June.

Nemours AI DuPont Hospital for Children won the grant for their Optimizing Health Outcomes for Children with Asthma in Delaware project.

Delaware’s asthma rate is second worst in the nation (12%), with especially high numbers of children being diagnosed with the chronic inflammatory disease.

The program's work advances the state’s health and social services department’s Healthy Homes initiative – educating the public on the presence of toxins  and the benefits of stable housing in order to reduce the incidence of cancer and high mortality rates in the First State.

Nemours manager of population health Sherani Patterson says they’ll analyze how much impact the program over the coming year – but she notes one area they already see progress is in the statewide partnerships built to address the issue.

“Some of those accomplishments in my mind would be bringing that collaboration together to move Healthy Homes the way they have in Delaware, and that’s taking it simply from in a housing setting now we’re looking at Healthy Childcare, Healthy Classrooms and such. ”

Even with the grant funding running out, Patterson says they’ll continue their efforts through partnerships they’ve built with housing organizations, resident advocates and primary care physicians.

“Those relationships are definitely standing. We will continue to work with them and we will continue to spread those messages and make sure we are tightly knitted with them to do so”

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