Genesee County Asthma Network

Focused on inner-city children in the Flint, Michigan area, the Genesee County Asthma Network (GCAN) is a comprehensive community-based program that delivers high quality asthma care through asthma and allergy specialists, physicians, and two registered nurses who are certified asthma educators. The asthma educators complete up to 200 home assessments each year where they identify asthma triggers, while an accompanying social worker identifies potential barriers to successful asthma management such as financial hardship, transportation, or family issues. Incentives and awards motivate patients and families to follow through with self-management advice. Classroom assessments (that identify and encourage schools to fix environmental problems) often complement home inspections and ensure that patients are well prepared to address their environmental asthma triggers. Asthma educators accompany patients on clinical visits to review medications and help develop a personalized asthma action plan. With the support of Hurley Medical Center and working with numerous partners in the community— including the American Lung Association, faith-based organizations, health providers and payers, and Habitat for Humanity, which built an asthma-friendly home for one patient’s family—GCAN has produced dramatic results. Asthma-related emergency department visits have dropped by 45 percent; hospitalizations by 25 percent.

Gina McCarthy, then Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. EPA, and Lisa Jackson, then Administrator, U.S. EPA, present Award to (from left to right) nPauline Sidiropoulos MSW, Michelle Cox RRT, Jan Roberts RN, Joni Zyber RN, and Lori McQuillan CHES of the Genesee County Asthma Network

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