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Children With Asthma More Vulnerable to H1N1 Virus
Date:9/8/2009

hildhood asthma burden. Screening conducted with the Philadelphia MCAN project in partnership with The School District of Philadelphia found that one out of four students in the West, Southwest, Olney, Logan and Germantown communities - target communities for the program - have been diagnosed with asthma or have been admitted to the hospital for wheezing, compared to one out of ten nationwide. The Philadelphia program provides children with asthma and their families access to three key services: Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) classes that educate parents, other caretakers and children with asthma; CAPP home visits where community health workers help families eliminate or control allergens and irritants within the home; and Health Promotion Council (HPC) Link Line services that connect families to asthma care coordinators.

"The unique structure of our program allows us to bring multiple stakeholders to the table to create a successful team that can get children to care and services for better long-term and immediate asthma management," said Dr. Michael Rosenthal of Thomas Jefferson University and co-lead investigator of the Philadelphia MCAN program. "By collaborating with specific schools to identify children that have asthma, the Philadelphia MCAN project has armed school nurses with essential information to assist students who are at higher risk for complications with H1N1 and seasonal flu virus, allowing them to be better prepared to manage these children at school."

Nationally, MCAN, a non-profit organization funded by the Merck Company Foundation, provides funding to four other local programs that target low-income, urban populations with high rates of pediatric asthma in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Puerto Rico. The goal is to evaluate the effectiveness of these programs and use the findings to develop model programs that can be replicated and tailored in communities across the country.

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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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