SAN ANTONIO (May 24, 2019) — Today marked the launch of SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E., a new asthma education initiative housed in the Frank Garrett Center on the City’s Westside. The goal of Building Relationships, Effective Asthma Teaching in Home Environments (B.R.E.A.T.H.E.) is to improve the quality of the lives of children with asthma by teaching them and their family best practices to control their asthma and reduce hospital admission rates. In 2015, Bexar County’s rates in children living with asthma was the highest of all large Texas counties.
District 1 City Councilman Roberto Treviño worked with the South Texas Asthma Coalition and Metro Health last budget cycle to include the SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E. program as part of the funding for the NXT Level Youth Center and overall upgrades at Frank Garrett.
“SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E. was thoughtfully placed in the heart of the West End, alongside popular amenities like West End Park, the Frank Garrett center, and the NXT Level Youth Opportunity Center where it is more accessible to affected children and families in need,” said Treviño. “I encourage parents and guardians of children with even the slightest breathing issue to take advantage of this free service which can drastically improve their quality of life. Services can be accessed by calling the program."
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that “Among inner-city children with atopic asthma, an individualized, home-based, comprehensive environmental intervention decreases exposure to indoor allergens, including cockroach and dust-mite allergens, resulting in reduced asthma-associated morbidity. ”
The Metro Health SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E. services are provided by four Community Health Workers (CHWs) guided by a Certified Asthma Educator. Over the course of 3-4 home visits, the CHWs assess household and environmental triggers, provide asthma education, and make referrals to community resources that are needed The CHW also connects with the primary care provider and the school nurse and follows up with the family over a 12-month period to assure they are receiving the care they need.
“Asthma is the leading cause of school absences and it’s the most common reason kids utilize the ER causing a negative impact on a child’s school performance and increased health costs, respectively,” said Dr. Erika Gonzalez, asthma specialist and Advisory Committee member to SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E.. “It comes down to access to good quality healthcare and there are some areas of town that just don’t have good access. This program will help decrease some of these health care disparities”
SA Kids B.R.E.A.T.H.E.’s administrative offices are located at the recently renovated Frank Garrett Multi Service Center located on the City’s Westside. To speak with program staff, please call (210) 207-7282. For more information and eligibility, please visit: https://www.sanantonio.gov/SAKidsBREATHE.
 Results of a Home-Based Environmental Intervention among Urban Children with Asthma; Morgan et al 2004