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March 5, 2001

Help for Poor, Young Asthma Sufferers

Asthma is the most common serious chronic disease of childhood, one of the leading causes of childhood hospitalizations, and the leading cause of school absences, according to UCSF researchers who will manage a $3.6 million grant to improve treatment of the disease in children age 5 to 18.

The California Asthma Among the School-Aged (CAASA) project will link improved clinical care to communities with a high proportion of low-income families, language and cultural barriers, and high exposure to environmental factors that exacerbate asthma, said Patrick Fox, PhD, co-director of the UCSF Institute for Heath and Aging and principal investigator on the study.

The project will award $100,000 per year for three years to eight clinics that provide services in high-risk communities in California. Each clinic is required to participate in or create a diverse local community partnership that will contain, at a minimum, a hospital, the public education system, a health insurance payer, the county department of health, and a lay family representative, Fox explained.

Remaining funding will be used to evaluate programs for cost-effectiveness and health benefit outcomes. Expected outcomes include: decreasing in asthma-related symptoms; improving quality of life and adherence to medical regimens; cutting the use of expensive, hospital-based services; and reducing health status disparities.

The Integrating Medicine and Public Health Program is funded by the Preventive Health and Health Services Block grant from the centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This project is also part of the efforts of the UCSF Center for Health and Community to work collaboratively with community groups and to address social disparities in health. The California Asthma Among the School Aged (CAASA) project is funded by the California Endowment, a private foundation with staff throughout the state whose grants are made to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the well-being of Californians.

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Institute for Health and Aging




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