Near the Mexican Border, a Breath of Fresh Air for Children with Asthma

Providing asthma screening, education, and treatment in a border region

In 2002, the Spirit of Caring Mobile Health Clinic, which provides primary health care to low-income, uninsured children in the Chula Vista Elementary School District in Southern California, expanded its services to include asthma education, screening and treatment.

The clinic—a joint effort of the school district and two nonprofit health systems, Sharp HealthCare and Scripps Health—serves children enrolled in schools with the highest rate of absenteeism and children referred by other schools.

Key Results:

  • In 2002, project staff held 407 individual educational sessions for children and parents and treated 218 children.
  • Through the project, 348 children obtained "Asthma Action Plans." These plans tell a child how much medication to take and when, based on his or her physical condition and peak flow measurement at any given time.
  • The project director reported a decrease in acute asthma episodes among students who received mobile health clinic interventions and followed the guidance they received.
  • No students who received services reported subsequent hospitalization or emergency room treatment during the project period.