Deb Cook, RN, AE-C, and her team are serious about impacting asthma. To accomplish this goal, Cook who is the director of health services for the public school system in Kennett, Mo., regularly participates in Show-Me ECHO’s Impact Asthma ECHO. ECHOs (Extenstion for Community Healthcare Outcomes) are virtual learning networks where teams of specialists mentor primary care providers via videoconferencing technology.
“I don’t have to travel,” said Cook, “but I can connect with several experts is the area of asthma, including a pediatric pulmonologist, a pediatric allergist and other asthma experts to learn how to address barriers [children] may have.”
Cook said the case presentations and collaborative atmosphere have helped improve asthma treatment in her school district, where asthma prevalence is 18 percent, higher than the state average of 14 percent. Helping to improve treatment, both at school and at home, can have a lasting difference in children’s lives, said Cook.
“One of of my goals is to try to reduce absenteeism. And one of the ways I can do that is to help parents understand asthma, and better control their child’s asthma. If the child’s asthma is well-controlled then they’re going to be be in school, they’re going to be happier, they’re going to feel more normal and be able to participate like any other child can participate.”
To learn how to participate in an asthma ECHO, go to http://heartlandtrc.org/project-echo/.