Asthma Management Program Makes Michigan Child “a regular kid!”
For most of his life, 7-year-old Michael had severe asthma attacks requiring emergency room visits and hospital stays many times each year. In addition, he made several unscheduled doctor visits every month and missed nearly 45 days of school during the year because of his asthma. Michael’s mom was understandably worried about her son’s health. Not only was he frequently visiting the doctor or hospital, but he also occasionally had asthma attacks while playing with friends in his Flint, MI neighborhood.
Michael’s doctor referred him to the Genesee County Managing Asthma Through Case Management in Homes (MATCH) program for help. MATCH is a home-based asthma case management program for children and adults, from predominantly low-income families, who suffer from moderate to severe asthma.
The MATCH program provided Michael and his family in-home asthma education. The case manager discovered several problems in the home that could possibly be affecting Michael’s health. There was Mold in the bathroom walls, and the furnace and floor coverings needed repair. MATCH linked the family with local resources who replaced the bathroom walls, repaired the floors and leaks in the bathtub, and provided a new furnace. Case managers also taught family members critical asthma self-management skills.
Michael’s health improved dramatically as a result of these interventions. Today Michael rarely visits emergency rooms, and he has missed only a few days of school. He also plays soccer and baseball and easily keeps up with his friends. In addition, Michael’s mother has noticed a significant improvement in his self esteem. He now proudly says, “I’m a regular kid!”
The MATCH program has been able to help Michael and many other families through a cooperative agreement funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC’s National Asthma Control Program granted Michigan an award for comprehensive asthma control in the state. CDC has supported the Michigan Department of Community Health’s Asthma Program for more than 12 years.
With support from the CDC funding, asthma-related outcomes of the pilot program interventions include
- average hospital cost reduction of $1,625 per patient
- 66% decrease in hospital admissions
- 46% decrease in length of inpatient stay
- 60% decrease in emergency department visits
For more than a decade, CDC’s National Asthma Control Program has played a critical role in helping Americans learn more about asthma and ways to control it. CDC provides funding for asthma control programs in 34 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. These jurisdictions represent 84% of the US population with asthma.