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AIM Summer 2013 Newsletter

Summer 2013 – In This Issue:
kids playing at sunset      
New Asthma Disparities
Fact Sheet

The 2013 Disparities in Michigan's Asthma Burden Fact Sheet is a brief statistical report that shows the differences in asthma burden by race, income, and location, in the general population and among children covered by Medicaid. It tells how many people have asthma, get care in the ED or hospital for asthma, and the costs that keep them from getting good asthma care.

Asthma &


boy blowing bubblesDid you know that people with

disabilities have asthma at almost twice the rate of people without disabilities? 

Use these resources to make sure that all patients can get the care they need:  


Primary Care Providers
View a ten-minute webcast on what primary care providers can do to make it easier for people with disabilities to get the right care.


This short self assessment will tell you if your practice meets basic access guidelines for people with mobility disabilities, and gives clear steps to take if you need to make changes. 

Learn more about healthcare providers' obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. 


For more information about health and disabilities in Michigan, visit the
Partnership for Health & Disability 


The Michigan Society for Respiratory Care will be holding an Asthma Information Review Course on October 10 & 11, 2013 at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor. The course is designed to help prepare candidates to take the NAECB AE-C exam. More info and registration coming soon!

School Health Center
Spirometry Project
by Taggert J. Doll, MS
Doctor holding childMichigan's Child and Adolescent Health Center (CAHC) program funds seventy sites throughout Michigan to provide school-based and school-linked health centers. These centers provide primary care services to youth in high-need areas throughout Michigan. Funding is provided through a joint partnership between the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Michigan Department of Education.


CAHC program staff recognized that many of the centers work with a large population of children and adolescents with asthma. Health center providers follow the NHLBI asthma care guidelines and communicate regularly with the child's community primary care provider. An asthma presentation at the Clinician Education Day in the Spring of 2012 reminded center clinicians about the importance of spirometry testing. Very few of the centers had spirometry equipment, and after learning that few community providers did this testing, CAHC staff wondered if they could help. They started to identify the centers that would benefit most from enhanced asthma education and training, and the addition of a spirometer. Some centers had already planned to do asthma quality improvement activities, and welcomed the addition of the Spirometry Project.


Forty-two of the seventy sites were chosen and agreed to follow the parameters of the project. They each received a spirometry unit and a full day of education on how to use it, and how to read and interpret the graphs. Beginning in the Fall of 2012, two staff from each site were trained; the primary care provider (Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant) and a Medical Assistant or Registered Nurse.The trainings were conducted by a respiratory therapist with expertise in spirometry and spirometry education.


Following the training sessions, the trainer and the CAHC Clinical Consultant have been making site visits. At the visits, they make sure that the units are being used correctly and that staff are reading and interpreting the results accurately. Also, throughout the year, the trainer has been in email and fax contact with the providers, answering questions and verifying the interpretation of tests. Monthly "tips" have been sent to the participating sites in the form of a newsletter. The health centers have found this technical assistance very helpful and are feeling much more comfortable using the units to diagnose and assess asthma.


Each participating center is reporting quarterly on their spirometry and asthma efforts, tracking the number of tests done compared to the number of known clients with asthma. Year-end reports will be checked to see if more technical assistance will be needed. CAHC staff is very pleased with the spirometry growth at the centers, and looks forward to additional asthma projects in the future.


Taggert J. Doll is the Child and Adolescent Health Center Program Coordinator at the Michigan Department of Community Health.

June 3 Partnership Forum Presentations Available

The annual AIM Partnership Forums convene Michigan's stakeholders to learn about emerging issues in asthma management, hear updates on asthma initiatives, and network with partners. The focus for the June 3 Forum was improving health equity and strategies to address it in asthma. 


Get added to our mailing list for Partnership Forums and other Michigan asthma events.