Foundation Works to Help ZAP Asthma
The ZAP Asthma Program is an innovative, community-based program that serves urban, inner-city school aged children and their families who are affected by asthma and live in metropolitan Atlanta. The program has been in existence for fourteen years. Initially created to educate children with asthma and their families in schools and communities located in the Atlanta Empowerment Zone, the program has now expanded to work primarily in schools in the Atlanta, Fulton County and DeKalb County Public School Systems where the prevalence of asthma ranges from 15% to 35% and where asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism.
Through the work of ZAP Asthma community health workers, and partnerships with schools, the faith community, local medical providers and other organizations with similar missions, ZAP provides culturally competent health education and case management services to families and caregivers of children with asthma who are at high risk.
Over the years, ZAP Asthma has cultivated a strong working relationship with school nurses. Nurses now frequently enlist the support of ZAP in providing asthma education to students. As a result, over 9,000 children with asthma have been reached through use of a school based curriculum designed to increase competency and capacity to self manage the disease, to promote healthy habits and behaviors including yoga as a means of reducing stress, and to provide information that supports healthy decisions at home, at school and at play. The ZAP program includes multiple interventions, including in home-environmental assessments, the provision of dust mite encasements and pest control supplies, and strategies to reduce exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
ZAP continues to conduct educational community events. Recently, in collaboration with a local middle school, ZAP Asthma sponsored an asthma health fair which featured Chris Draft, a What's in the Doctor's Bag presentation by "Doc Hollywood" (Dr. Neil Shulman), asthma screening, and organizations with asthma management education information.