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Asthma Start Initiative

Alameda County, CA
Program Year: 2019

Uncontrolled pediatric asthma is a serious health problem in California and in Alameda County. Not only does it endanger the lives of children, but also results in high use of expensive emergency care. Alameda County Public Health Department’s Asthma Start Initiative has enrolled hundreds of children in a novel intervention designed to improve the lives of children with uncontrolled asthma by reducing emergency department (ED) visits and hospitalizations. This intervention, which included a collaboration with the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department, was conducted by program staff and included a psychosocial assessment, environmental assessments for known asthma triggers, in-home asthma education, and home remediation to improve indoor air quality. Working with researchers from UC Berkeley and with an actuarial, the program has demonstrated great success in reducing ED visits and hospitalizations by 51.6% and 80.0%, respectively. Participants’ asthma is under much greater control. The program evaluation team is finalizing estimates of the substantial cost savings to the hospital systems and health care plans and planning for scale-up and replication.

Ms. Theresa S Rude
Administrative Analyst