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Spring 2015

NACI Partner Profile: Where Are they Now?

NACI Takes a Big Bite of the Big Apple

2011 may have seen the end of a two-year project funded through the National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI) to Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center and the North Brooklyn Health Network, both part of The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC).

But what happened next was no ending.  HHC Woodhull’s asthma program managers were so successful at coupling asthma-care training (plus one-on-one coaching for health professionals) with focused outreach to patients and families that HHC’s C-suite executives made a critical decision.

image of Brooklyn Bridge

They decided to adopt the program originally developed through NACI for more widespread use. And here’s what persuaded them to do so.

“We made a presentation that not only showed that we were we able to improve the quality of life for our asthma patients, but that our efforts generated savings by decreasing emergency department revisits by 45% and hospital readmissions by 79% in the group of 221 patients that we studied,” said Desire LaTempa, HHC Woodhull’s Asthma Program Coordinator. “By getting patients back into ambulatory care—either for their routine clinic visits or to our asthma clinic—we saw an increase in revenue, too.”

The PACE training and other educational efforts that Desire LaTempa and her colleagues at HHC Woodhull perfected while it was a NACI Demonstration Project have now expanded beyond Woodhull and its 15 satellite clinics to other HHC facilities. Those facilities include 10 other hospitals across five New York City (NYC) boroughs, plus programs they work with under the regional asthma coalitions across the state.

Desire LaTempa leads PACE training session

This expansion couldn’t be timelier since more than 17 percent of NYC’s children have asthma and an estimated 700,000 New Yorkers over the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives.

And while new lives are being touched and new relationships formed by this outreach, old ones continue. One example of the long-term effectiveness of Woodhull’s approach is that Dr. LaTempa still counsels one of the first pediatricians she coached on the asthma guidelines, priority messages, and electronic documentation.

“At the beginning she was quite resistant, but once she saw the multiple benefits of our efforts, she became a champion of them at her satellite clinic and actually began training her health team and others,” said LaTempa. “She still schedules monthly calls with me to address other people’s questions and concerns.”

Other relationships forged through NACI-related work also live on.

Representatives from HHC Woodhull and NEEF discuss asthma resources at a NACI meeting

Just recently HHC Woodhull conducted a NYC-based asthma training for nurses as part of an ongoing partnership with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a former NACI Strategic Partner. It is the third such in-person training conducted by the two. HHC Woodhull also uses the foundation’s online training and has distributed that link to other organizations in NYC.

Dr. LaTempa also reports using both a presentation on environmental management of asthma developed by the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), a former NACI Strategic Partner, and a Spirometry 360 DVD training developed by former NACI Strategic Partner and Champion The University of Washington to train new residents about asthma.

It is through these types of collaborations and the sharing of resources that the NACI lives on, providing healthcare providers with the tools and information that they need to make breathing—and living more fully—easier for their patients.



Last Updated May 2015