Under the right conditions, asthma can be well controlled, but the right conditions are sometimes hard to come by. If your child has seen an asthma specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and still struggles to control their asthma, the Just Keep Breathing Program may be able to help.
Each case of asthma has its own triggers. Families may have many asthma triggers right in their home without knowing it. Through Just Keep Breathing, community health workers visit homes to assess in-home triggers and educate families. They also help patients and families identify barriers to treating asthma and help the family create a self-management plan.
"We work with families to understand how their environment, understanding of asthma and home life affect kids’ breathing. If we can understand that, I think we can do a better job of improving their health."
- Monica Federico, MD, lead physician for Just Keep Breathing
Why is asthma management important?
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6.2 million children between birth and 18 years old were living with asthma in 2014.
Even when breathing normally, the lung tissue of children with asthma is inflamed, making it sensitive to the triggers that provoke asthma attacks. Over time, repeated attacks may contribute to reduced lung function. Recent research found that 75% of more than 1,000 children with persistent asthma developed lower-than-normal lung function by adulthood.
How much does Just Keep Breathing cost?
Just Keep Breathing is a free program for patients of Children’s Colorado’s Asthma Program who reside in the Denver metro area.
Is my child eligible for Just Keep Breathing?
Children are eligible if:
- They have seen an asthma specialist at Children’s Colorado.
- They’ve had had two Emergency Department visits or one hospital stay in the past year due to asthma.
- They live within 20 miles of the Anschutz Medical Campus.
- Their family speaks English or Spanish.
How it works
- After you sign up, a nurse and a community health worker will visit you at your home or a neutral location to get to know your family. At this first visit, we’ll ask about what your family is doing now to manage your child’s asthma, and we’ll set goals for treatment.
- At the second visit, we’ll ask you to show us around your home to see what asthma triggers might be there.
- At the other visits, we’ll help you and your family address any concerns about managing asthma or possible triggers in the home.
- We’ll do three to five home visits with your family over six months, with visits spaced about two to four weeks apart.
- If there are still concerns after the fifth visit, we refer patients to the Multidisciplinary Asthma Program at Children’s Colorado for more treatment with a diverse team of experts.
- We will let your child’s primary healthcare provider know that your family is participating in Just Keep Breathing and when you have finished the program.
What is included in the Just Keep Breathing program?
- Three to five home visits with a nurse and a community health worker
- Asthma education specific to your family
- In-home assessment of triggers that may make asthma worse
- Free home products to help lessen triggers, such as asthma-friendly cleaning supplies, HEPA-filter vacuum cleaners and more
- Support from a community health worker, nurse and social worker
Visit the Colorado American Lung Association website for more information on national advocacy and research.
Read the Colorado Asthma Guidelines (.pdf) to learn how healthcare providers are working together to improve asthma care in Colorado.
We welcome questions from healthcare providers or parents. Call Just Keep Breathing at 720-777-6181 (se habla Español) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.