UChicago Medicine, other hospitals collaborate for asthma center on city's South Side

The University of Chicago Medicine's Urban Health Initiative and the Department of Pediatrics are heading up a collaboration of healthcare providers to develop the South Side Pediatric Asthma Center to offer residents high-quality pediatric asthma management on Chicago's South Side.

Participating organizations include La Rabida Children's Hospital, the Friend Family Health Center and St. Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center. The partners' first-year goals include standardizing patient education, establishing a comprehensive pediatric asthma care center on the city's South Side and hosting provider and community education events.

Professional Resource Consultants, which conducted the community health needs assessment for UChicago Medicine, and the Chicago Department of Public Health found approximately 20 percent of children in the health system's service area suffer from asthma, compared to 10 percent in Illinois and 12 percent nationally. Children with asthma are more likely to miss school, be hospitalized and visit the emergency department.

The South Side Pediatric Asthma Center will receive initial funding of $750,000, which includes a $500,000 matching grant from Chicago-based Coleman Foundation and $250,000 from another donor. The funding will be used to hire nurses and community health workers who will provide training to asthma patients, their parents, school nurses, teachers and others.

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