UNC Children’s Clinic leads asthma advocacy in the community

On April 6, members of the UNC pediatric community hosted the first annual “Family Asthma Night” at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School in Carrboro.

UNC Children’s Clinic leads asthma advocacy in the community click to enlarge The volunteers from the Children's Clinic on Asthma Night.

The goal of the project was to reach families and provide individualized asthma education. The interest from families was astounding - 32 asthmatics and their families participated in the evening.

They rotated through four stations on the following topics: "What is Asthma?," "Asthma Triggers and Trigger Avoidance," "Use of Asthma Medications and Devices," and a "Medical Station" where we evaluated ACT scores, reviewed medications, and completed asthma action plans. The group brought a portable spirometer, and 14 of the children completed pulmonary function testing (PFT). We sent letters explaining the event and PFT reports to all primary care providers.

The night included dinner and a raffle with prizes like spacers, pillow cover and mattress covers for allergen avoidance. The Children's Clinic plans to make this an annual event and to host similar events at other schools in the future. This represents an important step, as they establish a partnership with the community. "Families were very appreciative and the kids were a lot of fun," said Caroline Hobbs, who organized the event. "I am proud to be a part of it!"

Many people volunteered their time and resources. Pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Celia Loughlin assisted with event organization, medical assessment, and PFT interpretation. Jim Ronk was kind enough to perform spirometry on all 14 children. Other volunteers include Dr. Michael Steiner, who assisted with organization,  Dr. Wallace Brown, asthma educator Lisa Stoltenberg, Darragh Davis, and pediatric residents Dr. Tim Moran and Dr. Kristen Rogers.