Kids’ in-school asthma program may expand soon

By Betsy Friauf

Asthma Program

 

“Asthma 411” helps children avoid the emergency room and stay in school if they have an asthma attack.

The pilot program, a collaboration between UNT Health Science Center and Fort Worth Independent School District, was so successful that plans are being laid to expand it. FWISD, JPS Health Network and Cook Children’s are working toward using Asthma 411 in schools with the greatest need, with an eye to expanding it district-wide.

Nationally, 9.3 percent of children have asthma. In sad contrast, by age 9, one-quarter of Tarrant County kids are diagnosed with it.

The Asthma 411 project, which ended in 2015, allowed school nurses to keep breathing-treatment equipment in their office. With parents’ prior permission, the nurse could give kids a treatment during an asthma attack – preventing most 911 calls and emergency room visits for these children, and greatly reducing absences.

It changed the landscape for Forest Oak Middle School Nurse Andrea Smith.

“It often happens that even if a child has an inhaler, it’s been left at home or it’s empty,” she said. “When you have a child in your office gasping for breath while you wait for someone to arrive with an inhaler, or for a Medstar ambulance, you just hurt for them. It gave me peace of mind knowing I had an intervention to help the child.”

During the pilot at two schools, Eastern Hills Elementary and Forest Oak Middle, results were impressive:

  • Calls to 911 for asthma emergencies fell from 19 to 1.
  • Asthma-related absences dropped 51 percent.

Asthma 411 has earned national recognition as well. Spearheading the pilot was the UNTHSC Office of Professional and Continuing Education, which has been honored with national awards for Asthma 411 and has shared the program with health care professionals across the nation.

To learn more about Asthma 411, contact Andrew Crim, UNTHSC Executive Director of Professional and Continuing Education.

Recent News

Scott Walters
  • Our People
|Dec 7, 2022

Through NIH HEAL Initiative, Dr. Scott Walters and colleagues accelerate fight against the nation’s opioid crisis

Four years ago, the National Institutes of Health introduced the unprecedented HEAL Initiative to address the nation’s public health crisis of opioid misuse, addiction and overdose. More than $2 billion has been invested in 1,000 research projects to date, spanning basic and clinical research ...
Wellest Team
  • On Campus
|Dec 6, 2022

Wellest Inc. founder Dave Sekowski partners with HSC faculty through Techstars program

For Dave Sekowski, founder and CEO of Wellest Inc., the road to wellness has not been easy. Growing up with limited access to healthy food and education about health and nutrition, he struggled with childhood obesity. “I had to take it upon myself to figure it out,” Sekowski said. “I joined...
IHI Banner
  • Patient Care
|Dec 6, 2022

TCOM leadership presents patient safety course to 2022 IHI forum

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine’s innovative patient safety course and how to incorporate it into an academic curriculum was on display at the 2022 Institute for Healthcare Improvement Forum in Orlando, Florida.  Frank Filipetto, DO, CPPS, FACOFP, dean of TCOM, and Lillee Gelinas DNP...
Stephanie Ibekwe
  • Our People
|Dec 5, 2022

A voice for women in medicine

When Dr. Stephanie Ibekwe’s mother, Sarah, came home from her nursing job, she would tell her daughter stories about her patients and the conversations she had with them. “Nursing is pretty stressful, but my mom had an amazing way of handling things,” she said. “My mom really loved to bui...