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Genesee County Asthma Network

genesee county Coalition logo

Mission

To improve the quality of life for children with asthma and their families through research, education, advocacy and community partnerships.

Vision

The causes and impacts of asthma are diagnosed and managed in our community.

History

The Childhood Asthma Task Force was established to educate and advocate for effective and consistent policies to manage and control childhood asthma through research and shared human and financial resources. To address the serious problem of asthma in our community, UM-Flint's Project for Urban and Regional Affairs (PURA), Priority Children (formerly Priority '90), and the American Lung Association of Michigan, initiated a task force on childhood asthma that was organized in September of 1997. The main focus was to establish asthma management priorities to be addressed, and set goals to be achieved by focus groups comprised of member representatives from the fields of health, environment and education.

The educational focus group was concerned with the identification of students with asthma, teaching asthma awareness in the classroom, education of parents, and training of school staff. In addition, the focus group goal was to create a community wide asthma education campaign involving better linkages between schools and the health profession. Through a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, the Childhood Asthma Task Force was able to coordinate asthma training guidelines for elementary and preschool staff within the which included; Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD), Flint Community Schools, and Genesee County Community Action Agency (GCCAA) Head Start; to train elementary school personnel. The Breathing Space training included:
  • Asthma medication education
  • How to handle emergency situations
  • Adapting the classroom to better suit the needs of asthmatic students
  • Contact information for local asthma resources
Training materials were made available with a resource kit for each elementary school and presented at a series of ongoing asthma workshops. The Health and Nutrition Services Department of the GISD and Flint Community Schools Nutrition Services made the presentations.

The environmental group worked with UM students, faculty, and staff; and other community members interested in asthma related disciplines, in the research aspect of the project. This involved analyzing case studies, identifying strategies to confront or prevent asthma triggers, and initiating at least one research project. Essential research questions to be addressed include:
  1. What emission factors in Genesee County trigger asthma?
  2. Are there areas of high prevalence to target?
  3. What environmental factors contribute to asthma?
An Assessment of Intervention Strategies for Childhood Asthma Management is a community-wide effort of the Enterprise Community, Hurley Medical Center, University Outreach and The Research Excellence Fund of the State of Michigan. PURA is conducting the field study to assess three alternative intervention strategies for the management of childhood asthma in Genesee County. These strategies include:
  • Traditional treatment
  • Traditional treatment combined with an educational component
  • Case management
Parents of asthmatic children will be interviewed twice to examine the barriers that families face. The report will lead to an action plan for the task force to follow.

Members assessed CATF's status and identified the critical issues that should be addressed for CATF to achieve its mission. The issues identified were:
  1. To mobilize and empower parents of children who have asthma
  2. To improve school education for all personnel
  3. To develop and implement a school asthma assessment tool, and enforcement of environmental risk management criteria
  4. To expand the funding resources of the task force for above projects
All those interested in being a part of this important community project are welcome to join. The Childhood Asthma Task Force is a collaborative effort on the part many community members and organizations. CATF is part of the national 40 member Community Asthma Coalition recognized by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

Location

Genesee county
Pediatric Asthma Disease Mgmt.
Hurley Medical Center, One Hurley Plaza
Flint, Michigan 48503-5993

Contact

Joni Zyber, RNC, AE-C
810-262-6125
jzyber1@hurleymc.com