How Community Needs Impact Asthma Care
Jason Chu, MD
Specialty: Pulmonary Medicine
Posted: June 2019
As a district hospital, we’re owned by those who live in the Tri-City
Area. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to evolve
our services to meet the needs of the people we serve. One of the ways
in which we achieve this is with our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).
Every three years, we work with the Hospital Council of Northern and Central
California to identify the health issues that are affecting those who
live within the Washington Township Health Care District. The data received
from this study helps build the service lines, programs, and partnerships
to meet the demands of our residents and anticipate their future health
care needs. Our most recent CHNA was conducted in the summer of 2016.
Based on the prevalence of the health need, the number of people affected,
and the expertise and assets of Washington Hospital, we identified seven
public health priorities: preventing violence and injury, maintaining
healthy lifestyles, maternal and child health, cancer, behavioral health
and asthma. While we’ve made great strides in addressing all of
these needs, educating and treating asthma patients, particularly pediatric
asthma patients, is an excellent example of how we’ve employed data
to make our community healthier.
In our assessment, we found a higher proportion of adults, teens, and children
diagnosed with asthma in the Washington Hospital service area than in
the county and state. More specific to Washington Hospital, we found that
the hospitalization rates for pediatric asthma patients in Alameda County
were higher than state rates.
With this data, we outlined initiatives to help address this issue including
partnering with UCSF Health for the care of patients with pediatric asthma,
providing pediatric asthma screenings, and increasing public awareness
of asthma and common asthma triggers. Some specific ways in which these
were achieved are in our participation in the Pathways to Improve Pediatric
Asthma Care (PIPA) study, our partnership with UCSF Health for the
pediatric hospitalist program, and utilizing Bay Area Healthier Together as a vehicle for educating
the public on childhood asthma and asthma in general.
At its core, the goal of our Community Healthcare Needs Assessment is to
create access to the kinds of services and specialists that matter most
to the community we serve. While the 2019 CHNA is still in development,
we’re excited to see what new ways Washington Hospital Healthcare
System will grow as a result of its findings.
Did You Know...
One of the most controllable causes of asthma attacks in children is exposure
to secondhand cigarette smoke? Do your part in making our community a
safer, healthier place for children and adults with asthma by stopping
smoking.If you need help kicking the habit, check out these local resources:
California Smokers’ Help Line (1-800-NO-BUTTS)
This telephone counseling program offers up to seven free one-on-one sessions
to help you stop smoking today.
National Cancer Institute (1-800-4-CANCER)
Not only will this resource answer your questions about cancer risks associated
with smoking, it offers free publications and referrals to smoking cessation
A partnership between the Centers for Disease Control, the American Cancer
Society and the Tobacco Control Research branch of the National Cancer
Institute, this site offers online guides and resources for quitting smoking.
This comprehensive online program was developed by the American Lung Association
to help smokers quit anytime, anywhere.
A comprehensive listing of Alameda County health and wellness resources,
including those that can help support your quest to quit.