Asthma is a chronic disease that disproportionately affects minorities and low-income families; it is also a leading cause of school absenteeism and emergency department (ED) visits for children. Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC), which serves San Bernardino County, established mobile asthma clinics that visit participating schools every six weeks to treat students suffering from asthma. Results show that 75 percent of participating children have their asthma symptoms under control by the third follow-up visit, regardless of the severity of their illness.
To launch the Breathmobile program, Arrowhead:
- Contacted school district health service representatives to determine interest and discuss activities, benefits, and partner responsibilities.
- Traveled to community events
- Distributed flyers
- Advertised through partner organizations
Arrowhead received referrals to the program from:
- Interested schools, who had reviewed student health records and reached out to parents.
- School administrators, nurses, and health aides, who determined which children would benefit most.
A typical appointment:
- Is staffed by a pediatric specialty practitioner, a nurse, and a respiratory therapist, who are specially trained in asthma case management.
- Is 30 minutes long
- Includes a complete patient evaluation, including:
- A thorough history review
- Vital signs
- Lung function testing
- Allergy testing
- A physical exam
- Includes parents, so they can learn about the disease, proper medication use, and potential environmental allergens.
After an appointment:
- Patients may be referred to the American Lung Association and the Public Health Department of the County of San Bernardino for additional educational opportunities.
- Staff conduct follow-up appointments every six weeks until symptoms are well controlled, and quarterly thereafter.
For more information about ARMC’s Breathmobiles, please contact:
Arrowhead Regional Medical Center