Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion
The Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion-Center for Asthma Education, Management, and Policy (DHWP-CAEMP) offers asthma management education in the community and schools, with emphasis on identifying and avoiding or reducing exposures to environmental asthma triggers.
Program elements include school intervention, community intervention, clinical intervention, environmental intervention, surveillance/evaluation, and sustainability.
- School intervention: implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tools for Schools; indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments in schools; and training/workshops for educators, administrators, sports and physical education staff, custodians and maintenance staff, students, and parents and other caregivers.
- Community intervention: providing asthma education in group and one-on-one sessions and disseminating information about identification of and minimizing exposure to asthma triggers, home assessment and cleaning, smoking cessation, integrated pest management, and effects of ozone action days.
- Environmental intervention: focusing on eliminating and reducing exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants that are asthma triggers, assessing IAQ in the home, cleaning the home, educating participants about asthma environmental triggers in the home, and educating communities about the source and avoidance of outdoor triggers and about air quality resources.
- Clinical interventions: focusing on providing education to health care professionals and their patients on how to identify and reduce exposure to asthma environmental triggers.
- Since 2005, DHWP-CAEMP has conducted more than 150 asthma education and environmental
trigger management workshops in the Detroit community for over 5,000 people, approximately 20% of whom had asthma:
- Through collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools Environmental Service Division, DHWP-CAEMP implemented EPA’s Tools for Schools in 15 schools.
- Through collaboration with St. John Hospital School-based Clinics, more than 130 childcare providers received training in 32 centers.
- DHWP-CAEMP conducted workshops in community centers, faith-based organizations, police precincts, schools, Head Start agencies, public housing units, and other venues.
- Pretests and posttests were given to adults and students. Preliminary results for students showed a 22.7% increase in knowledge; results for adults showed an 11.8% increase in knowledge.
- DHWP-CAEMP established the Detroit Alliance for Asthma Awareness, a community-based collaboration of 45 members, to assist with the asthma initiative. More than 500 people attended our World Asthma Day event. DHWP-CAEMP disseminated over 5,000 home assessment tools and other materials throughout the community with information about how reduce and eliminate exposure to environmental asthma triggers.
Barriers to the success of this project included limited resources.
What Is Next
Through collaboration with St. John Hospital School-based Clinics, DHWP-CAEMP will provide training on environmental asthma triggers to childcare centers in Detroit. The St. John Hospital School-based clinic staff and asthma educator will provide one-on-one patient education for asthma patients in the DHWP clinics. The goal of the training is to educate patients about environmental asthma triggers.
DHWP-CAEMP will conduct a train-the-trainer program for lay health workers who provide health education to the community. The lay workers will conduct 30 workshops in the community. The train-the-trainer topics focus on reducing exposure to environmental asthma triggers and will include asthma management, integrated pest management, indoor air quality, mold, nontoxic cleaners, and cleaning techniques.
DHWP-CAEMP will continue to conduct workshops in community centers, faith-based organizations, police precincts, schools, public housing units, and other venues to eliminate or minimize exposures to environmental asthma triggers.
Several workshops on outdoor air triggers will also be conducted.
In addition, DHWP-CAEMP will conduct one-on-one education as necessary for persons with asthma.
DHWP-CAEMP’s efforts promote the healthy communities concept to improve environmental health of individuals and communities.