TACOMA, Wash. – “Clean Air for Kids” recently won the state’s highest honor for cost-effective and quality health care services.Since the late 1990s, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s asthma-management program has helped nearly 3,000 local families tackle the challenges of childhood asthma. And in late October, the Washington Board of Health recognized that success with its Warren Featherstone Reid Award.
Clean Air for Kids family-based service model helps families with allergy and asthma management through a variety of methods and addresses families’ apprehension,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a letter congratulating Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH, director of health.
The program’s convenient educational component and increased customer satisfaction bring a solid return on investment, Inslee said, “and these traits exemplify the very spirit of this award.”
To administer Clean Air for Kids, the Health Department relies on its partners in the Puget Sound Asthma Coalition, including MultiCare Health System and 30 other local healthcare, community and academic organizations, and school nurses. Asthma outreach workers provide home visits that include asthma education basics, symptom evaluation, and a review of medication and doctors’ instructions. Outreach workers also evaluate home environments for asthma triggers — such as tobacco use, pets and other factors — and work with families to develop asthma action plans.
“It can be exhausting and isolating to be a parent of a child with a chronic illness,” said Judy Olsen, environmental health specialist and Clean Air for Kids coordinator. “When clients tell us they’re able to sleep better at night or get back to work because of the help they’ve gotten, that’s how we know Clean Air for Kids profoundly impacts the health of our community.