WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2009 With chronic diseases on the rise in children, pediatricians are looking for solutions to improve care and outcomes for these often complex illnesses. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) today announced a new initiative funded with a grant from the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. (MCAN) that will allow pediatricians across the country to pilot a series of quality improvement programs to effectively address the top chronic disease affecting kids childhood asthma.
Officials from the AAP and MCAN emphasized the extreme importance of the new program since, even with evidence-based treatment guidelines from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in place, research shows that two out of three children with moderate or severe asthma do not receive adequate or recommended treatment for controlling asthma. The AAP's Comprehensive Asthma Program (CAP) aims to help pediatricians implement the NHBLI guidelines.
"Growing numbers of children are suffering from asthma. This initiative will advance the care of these children by helping providers use the latest techniques of care in the most efficient and effective manner," said AAP president Judith Palfrey, MD, FAAP.
The AAP will use CAP to educate chapters and pediatric practices across the country about the implementation of the latest guidelines, which stress four main components: diagnosing and assessing the severity of asthma to monitor whether asthma control is achieved and maintained; creating a partnership between the patient and the health care provider involved in asthma care; controlling environmental factors and associated conditions that affect asthma; and using proper medication. The two-part program includes:
"Children with asthma and their families often need professional support from pediatricians to manage asthma, a complex, chronic disease," said Dr. Floyd Malveaux, Executive Director of MCAN and former Dean of the College of Medicine at Howard University. "The CAP program will help pediatricians across the nation adopt proven best practices and clinical standards that will result in better care and quality of life for affected children and families. This is especially true for children living in medically underserved and impoverished communities where asthma rates are higher and ER visits and hospitalizations remain at excessive levels."
|Contact: Danielle DeForge|
The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc.