Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Asthma Educators’

Our 20th Anniversary Celebration Begins!

Many of our current readers may know the story of how Mobile Care came to be. After learning of the tragic reports of asthma-related deaths in Chicago, four Chicagoland physicians — Dr. Philip Sheridan, Sr., Dr. Philip Sheridan, Jr., Dr. Paul Detjen, and Dr. Eric H. Gluck — were inspired to form Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation (now Mobile Care Chicago) in 1998.

In 2000, Mobile Care’s first mobile clinic, originally named The Breathmobile, was launched. 

Over the next few weeks, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary by sharing stories from those who have gotten us to where we are today. We hope you learn more about us, and share our story with a friend. We will also be opening up donations to help us achieve our future goals in helping kids in Chicago access the health services they need, as well as helping our community fight the pandemic. To those of you following our blog, look out for new content, and a link to our 20th Anniversary Website, which will go live next week.

Our goal in this celebration is to not only raise money, but to also spread awareness. We encourage you to share the content we post throughout the next few weeks with a friend or family member who might not know about Mobile Care Chicago, or those who might not know how hard it is for many kids in Chicago to access life-changing health services.

Welcome Kamari Thompson

Meet Kamari Thompson, an Asthma Educator in the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood, and the most recent addition to the Mobile C.A.R.E. family! Kamari has been working in Altgeld Gardens since 2007, combating asthma rates more than double the national average (25% vs. 10% nationally).

“I’m so passionate about what I do,” Kamari says. “I’ve always known I wanted to talk to and help people.”

Asthma Educators work in local communities, educating and coordinating the major players (school staff and administration, parents, and children) to work in the best interest of asthmatic children. They provide personalized trainings to children to make sure they understand the medication they’re supposed to take, schedule appointments for children who need it to receive medical care upon our Asthma Vans, and (importantly) conduct home inspections to rid the environment of allergens and irritants that significantly inflame a child’s asthma. Kamari explains that asthma and home allergens “are a link parents don’t recognize without education,” even though for 70% of children allergens are a major trigger. “That’s why I am a very strong believer in prevention through education. Asthma should not restrict your way of life. If you tell them how to help their child, most parents are going to do that.”

What Kamari says rings true. Asthma Educators have been shown to reduce hospitalizations by as much as 81%, and ER visits by 64%. Educators also save us money by reducing patient no-show rates and increasing efficiency. We estimate that the Asthma Education Program, when it’s fully staffed, will save Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation $122,000 per year—money that can be used to expand our work to other low-income neighborhoods.

Children with uncontrolled asthma miss five times as many days of school as non-asthmatic students, are routinely rushed to emergency rooms, suffer from sleep deprivation and an inability to exercise, and in extreme cases die from suffocation despite known control medications. We’re excited to welcome Kamari into our growing team!

How you can help our Asthma Educators:

1. Check our wishlist to see if you have items they need

2. Keep in touch with them via twitter (@asthma_vans)

3. Support their work with a financial contribution

Asthma Educators Save Money (and Lives)

“We need to get the word out there,” Maybell Hoskins says. “If parents don’t know, they can’t help their child.”

Maybell has been an Asthma Educator with the Mobile C.A.R.E. Foundation Asthma Van for 14 years. She coordinates patient visits, teaches children how to prevent asthma attacks, and explains triggers to parents and local teachers. She is a local fixture in a community where 25% of children have asthma.

“People come up and tell me, ‘I had to take this child to the hospital every month. Since coming to see you, I don’t have to do that now.’ That’s rewarding.”

Maybell is well acquainted with the positive results of the Asthma Van’s work. Over her years, she’s managed the cases of over 1,700 low-income children, and has rallied the teachers and administrators of Metcalfe Elementary behind asthma control. “Every teacher in this school knows who to send kids to if they have asthma,” one of the teachers tells me. “It didn’t used to be like that.”

The work of Asthma Educators like Maybell has been proven to decrease asthma-related hospitalizations by up to 81%, and ER visits by 64%. Considering that some of the children Maybell has helped were being hospitalized every two months before joining the Asthma Van and its comprehensive education, treatment, and on-going asthma care, this translates into an overwhelming improvement in a child’s quality of life.

And Asthma Educators are cost-efficient. As an example, the national no-show rate for a community clinic is 30%. Mobile C.A.R.E. Asthma Vans currently have an average 16% no-show rate. Metcalfe, with Maybell’s help, had a no-show rate of 11% last year, with an 8% no-show rate for the last half of the year. Though that percentage may sound small, Mobile C.A.R.E. estimates that putting four more Asthma Educators into the most distressed areas it serves would save the organization $122,000 per year, as well as increase organizational impact by maximizing doctor-patient face-time.

But Maybell’s success as an Asthma Educator is far more than just numbers. It’s a cultural change in areas known for a lack of reliable information about chronic diseases. “Before I met Maybell,” one teacher says, “I didn’t realize how serious asthma could be. It’s something we monitor now, and each year we screen every new child for asthma so we can catch problems before they’re problems.” Asthma Educators save money, and transform lives.

This post originally appeared on the SoundAsthma blog.

Update: Mobile C.A.R.E. has hired a new Asthma Educator! Meet Kamari Thompson

Mobile Care Chicago