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Rabbit Air Supported Community Program Wins EPA Asthma Management Award

The AAFA Severe Asthma Program (SAP) clinic is a specialized clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (RCHSD) that evaluates patients with severe asthma who may benefit from a comprehensive evaluation, therapy, and education. AAFA helped RCHSD grow and expand its severe asthma clinic by providing funding, education support, and building its community network. This program was recently awarded the EPA National Environmental Leadership in Asthma Management Award for leadership in promoting environmental asthma management as part of comprehensive asthma care. AAFA is proud to partner with Rady Children’s and provides critical funding to help reach underserved patients, primarily Medicaid-insured or uninsured children. Rabbit Air donated 50 of its air purifiers to families enrolled in this program. Previous partnerships with AAFA include donations to the Community Asthma Prevention Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and IMPACT DC Asthma Clinic at Children's Hospital in Washington D.C.

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About Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego (San Diego, California):
Established in 1954, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego (RCHSD) has evolved from a 59-bed hospital for child polio victims to a 524-bed pediatric medical center servicing San Diego, Imperial, and southern Riverside counties. Rady Children’s Health Network (RCHN) is a Clinically Integrated Network that combines primary care, specialty care, and hospital-based services. Of the asthma population seen in the emergency department, the children are primarily Latinx (65%) and African American (12%). Many of the children live in neighborhoods commonly associated with inequities related to poverty, poor outdoor air quality and other socioeconomic and cultural factors. For the past five years, RCHSD has implemented a Community Approach to Severe Asthma Program, an innovative initiative utilizing a community health worker (CHW) model with the goal of improving management and outcomes for children with severe asthma. CHWs contact the families of these children and perform in-home visits to conduct environmental assessments, reinforce health care provider instructions, assess asthma control and set behavioral/environmental change goals. Due to COVID -19, the team moved the home visit program to a completely virtual format with great success. Natural cleaning kits are distributed to all participants in the program, and home remediation supplies such as dust mite encasings for beds, HEPA air purifiers, and closed-lid garbage cans are distributed as needed. The program has seen up to a 75% reduction in emergency department return rates for both Medi-Cal patients and those with commercial insurance. RCHSD is also advocating with legislators in the State of California to drive expanded reimbursement for in-home environmental care services, specifically for Medi-Cal health plans.

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