Asthma Management

Last updated: November 25, 2009 – 11:33 AM

Asthma is the most common chronic condition of childhood, affecting nearly 10 million children in the United States.  In some predominately minority Chicago communities, as many as 1 in 4 children have asthma as revealed by the Sinai Improving Community Health Survey.

MTO’s Healthy Homes Program educates tenants on common asthma triggers in the home.  Asthma is a chronic disease that affects a person’s lungs.  Symptoms include wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing at early morning or late at night – often referred to as an asthma attack.  Symptoms can come and go.  This relates to housing because exposure to triggers such as mold, mice, dust mites and cockroaches can exacerbate symptoms. There is no cure for asthma but managing exposure to triggers helps control symptoms.  Remember:  your housing affects your health.

AsthmaCare Partnership for children with asthma:

A recent study conducted by Sinai Urban Health Institute found that when Community Health Educators and Housing Advocates worked together to manage asthma symptoms, Emergency Department visits were cut by 72%.  The Metropolitan Tenants Organization and the Sinai Community Institute [SCI] work in partnership to manage asthma for families who rent.  Community Health Educators [CHEs] deliver asthma education in the home environment tailored to the specific needs of the individual families.  The home visits focus on both improving asthma management by educating caregivers and children to better manage asthma medically, while also addressing the disproportionate presence of asthma triggers in the home environment.  CHEs work with families to set achievable goals that will move them towards optimal health.  The program objective is to significantly impact asthma-related measures of morbidity, urgent health resource utilization and quality of life.  MTO provides support in training CHEs to conduct a thorough environmental assessment and to work with families in modifying the home environment to reduce the presence of asthma triggers.  Our Healthy Homes Organizer works directly with clients who have more complex environmental situations.

Helping Chicago’s Westside Adults Breathe & Thrive:

In partnership with Sinai Urban Health Institute, Helping Chicago’s Westside Adults Breathe & Thrive, is a Community Health Worker (CHW) home-based and healthy homes intervention that aims to improve asthma control and quality of life among adults with poorly controlled asthma on Chicago’s Westside.  Adults receive 5-6 home visits from a CHW over the course of one year to provide comprehensive asthma education.  CHWs also assist with health system navigation include finding a PCP.  MTO’s Healthy Homes Organizer assists in situations where common household asthma triggers are present.  Program participants receive spacers, nebulizer tubing, masks, green cleaning products, referrals for social services as needed and assistance applying for insurance.

If you are an adult or a parent of a child with asthma and would like more information these FREE programs please contact our Healthy Homes Organizer, at 773.292.4980 x 225.