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How Community Needs Impact Asthma Care

Author: Jason Chu, MD
Pulmonary Medicine

young boy with inhaler

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. You can download it here.

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.

For more than 60 years, Washington Hospital has served as proof of what can be accomplished when citizens work together to achieve a goal. Learn about how this district hospital serves the healthcare needs of its community.

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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 resources.


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.

Stop Smoking

This comprehensive online program was developed by the American Lung Association to help smokers quit anytime, anywhere.

Wellness Works

A comprehensive listing of Alameda County health and wellness resources, including those that can help support your quest to quit.

Posted April, 2019