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Supporting Asthma Virtual Home Visit Programs During a Pandemic

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Home visits by trained health professionals help control asthma. During these visits, health personnel provide education to support asthma self-management, conduct home assessments to identify environmental asthma triggers, and provide education and supplies to help reduce those triggers.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic pushed asthma home visiting organizations to move to a largely virtual approach. In response, PHI’s Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) program created a variety of resources to assist with these changes, including hosting a webinar on virtual home visits and facilitating a panel presentation during the Sierra Health Foundation’s virtual convening of the Asthma Mitigation Project. RAMP also provided direct technical assistance on this topic to asthma home visiting organizations.

RAMP created the webinar “Virtual Asthma Home Visits” for staff from home visit programs so they could learn more about virtual asthma home visits, share resources, and solve challenges related to implementation. Nikita Kachroo, a certified asthma educator (AE-C) from Children’s National Hospital, shared lessons learned and challenges from her program’s experiences with virtual home visits. Other participants also shared resources and advice from their own work, and RAMP staff provided an update on the implications of COVID-19 for people with asthma.

You can find the webinar recording and panel presentation below. Presentation slides and a wide range of other virtual home visiting resources from Children’s National Hospital, RAMP and other partners are available on the RAMP website.

In November 2020, the Asthma Mitigation Project, which is funded by a $15 million appropriation from the state of California to support asthma home visits, hosted a virtual convening featuring a panel presentation on virtual asthma home visits facilitated by RAMP. The discussion featured staff from Asthma Start at the Alameda County Public Health Department, the Central California Asthma Collaborative, Comite Civico del Valle, and Esperanza Community Housing, Inc. Participants described the importance of community health workers and their role in helping those with asthma. For example, Esther Bejarano of Comite Civico del Valle explained the organization’s founding more than 30 years ago by Imperial Valley farmworkers and how crucial their trusted community health workers have been to the area’s Latinx and immigrant community during COVID.

A recording of the event is below (the RAMP presentation begins at 1 hour 25 minutes).

As the lead technical assistance provider for the Asthma Mitigation Project, RAMP has provided direct support on virtual home visits to many of the twenty-two funded partners.

Finally, RAMP’s director Anne Kelsey Lamb served as one of four presenters on a national webinar hosted by the US EPA in January 2021, called “Solutions for Managing In-Home Environmental Asthma Triggers During the Pandemic,” which can be viewed here.

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