Mission Children's Hospital Regional Asthma Disease Management Program
Mission Children’s Hospital serves the 21 most rural and isolated counties in North Carolina. This area’s diverse minority population faces some of the greatest health disparities in the state, and further, the majorty of Mission Children’s Hopsital patients are uninsured or underinsured. Pediatric asthma, unsurprisingly, is one of these disparate health concerns.
Through an innovative and bold approach designed to meet the unique needs of this population and to impact minority children suffering from asthma in a significant way, Mission Hospital developed the Regional Asthma Disease Management Program (RADMP).
RADMP confronts these issues at the root of the problem — taking the clinical approach to asthma management and control into non-clinical settings, such as homes, schools and other care facilities in outlying areas. The program addresses social determinants of health, medical and environmental management, education on asthma and environmental triggers, and comprehensive care through an ever-expanding network of invested stakeholders and agencies.
In order to reach minority and low-literacy populations, RADMP utilizes population specific outreach materials and interpretive services. For low-income families, the program offers access through Mission’s Medication Assistance Program for asthma medications. Home remediation to eliminate environmental exposures is provided through RADMP’s strong network of community partners.
In 2008, the program was recognized as one of the state’s top three asthma disease management programs. In 2009, RADMP received a two-year demonstration project grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), as part of the National Asthma Control Initiative. Since 2009, RADMP activities have contributed to reducing asthma-related emergency room visits by 94 percent and hospitalizations by 95 percent, equaling a total savings of more than $800,000. In addition, the average number of school days missed by children in the program decreased from 17 to nine, indicating an increased quality of life. Statistically significant improvements were made in clinical measures including lung spirometry and eosinophilic inflammation.