Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease and the third-leading cause of hospitalizations among patients under 18 years of age. The likelihood of asthma-induced emergency department admissions is increased by a patient’s lack of access to care, disease severity and socioeconomic factors, among other social determinants. In 2019, through the Hospital-Community Partnership Initiative, OneCity Health’s Bronx Advisory Workgroup identified asthma as a high-risk catalyst for recurring visits to the ED. In response, they began The Bronx Asthma Peer Educator Project in collaboration with community stakeholders, including Health People, New York City Housing Authority, NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln, NYC Health + Hospitals/Community Care, Public Health Solutions and Community Service Society.
Health People uniquely trains peers to recruit and support individuals with uncontrolled asthma and other social determinant of health-related needs in homeless shelters and NYCHA developments. This pilot aims to improve health outcomes for individuals ages 18 to 39 with uncontrolled asthma by helping them to manage it and linking them to services for co-conditions that impact their health. These services include food insecurity resources, health insurance coverage, connection to a primary care provider and mental health services, pharmacy services and health home enrollment.
Individuals targeted for this pilot have been hospitalized or have had an asthma-related ER visit within the past six to 12 months. This project aligns directly with the New York state Prevention Agenda focus area, “Chronic Disease Preventive Care and Management” and addresses the goals of promoting evidence-based care to prevent and manage chronic diseases including asthma (goal 4.3) and improving self-management skills of chronic diseases in the community (goal 4.4).
Outcomes from this project are still being collected, but so far 64% of participants have connected to food security resources in the community. Additionally, 12% of individuals were connected to a primary care physician, 12% were linked to transportation services and 7% were connected to mental health resources.
For more information, contact Marjorie Momplaisir-Ellis, senior director, engagement and collaborations, at email@example.com or (646) 694-7062.