Dresner Foundation awards grant to increase asthma treatment access

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Henry Ford Health System School-Based and Community Health Program in partnership with the Henry Ford Global Health Initiative was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the Dresner Foundation to help increase access to vital asthma treatment services for underserved youth in Detroit.

The grant will be used to plan the transition of one of Henry Ford’s two pediatric mobile clinics into a Breathmobile: A State of the Art Asthma Clinic on Wheels. This specialty-care unit will travel to Detroit schools and community centers, delivering asthma treatment services to many children who may otherwise be unable to access the care they need.

“In Detroit, due to existing barriers – inadequate transportation, among others – an estimated 60-70 percent of children with asthma go without the medication and treatment they need,” said Elliott Attisha, D.O., Henry Ford pediatrician and medical director for this program. “The Breathmobile will allow us to deliver comprehensive asthma services to kids where they are – Detroit schools and community centers.”

“In addition to improving their overall health, increasing access to asthma treatment and prevention is critical to the long-term educational success of Detroit youth,” said Virginia Romano, managing director of programs, Dresner Foundation.

Dr. Attisha added, “A comparable Breathmobile in California brought 80 percent of asthma cases under control after three visits, leading to a 68 percent reduction in ER visits and 82 percent reduction in missed school days. Knowing that asthma is the leading health contributor to missed school days - 10 million days annually - we are confident that the services and resources provided through our Breathmobile program will lead to similar outcomes. The program will contribute towards a healthy learning environment, keeping kids in school and out of the emergency room.”

Henry Ford is working closely with the Detroit Health Department on the development of the Breathmobile program. As a collaborating partner, the Detroit Health Department will assist in site selection, help develop a sustainable business model and provide ongoing operational support, as needed.

The Dresner Foundation is dedicated to transforming lives in profoundly positive ways through grants focused on health, youth and animal welfare. The foundation works to advance its mission by providing access and opportunities to underserved youth, equipping medical researchers with the tools they require to advance their work, improving health care access and outcomes for vulnerable people, and supporting organizations that offer assistance to animals.