Friday, March 22, 2013

Going to the Source

I sat in my car in the parking lot of my school Monday morning so that I could hear the end of NPR's story on what Children's Hospital in Boston did to meet the needs of its child asthma patients. Everything the story discussed hit home. 

When I worked at the Think-Tank we had so many children who had breathing and health issues. Children who live in subsidized apartments frequently face problems with asthma from everything from poorly cleaned carpets to an increase in cockroaches. This causes them to miss school- and we all know that we can only teach children when they come to school consistently.

I was thrilled to see that a hospital was reaching out past just treating the patient and instead going to the root cause of the problem. Through parent education and treating the environment, they were able to improve the child's health, reduce emergency room visits, and increase the days the child was able to go to school. What's more, although the program was expensive to implement, the study showed that for every dollar it spent, it saved $1.46. 

We need more of this- not just this program itself, but we need more people thinking outside of the box and looking at ways we can educate one another so that we can be proactive instead of reactive. We need this in education as well as in medicine. 

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