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The University of Chicago Medicine - Comer Children's Hospital

Asthma Research, Education and Community Outreach

At the University of Chicago, physicians in adult and pediatric pulmonary medicine collaborate on research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Current studies are aimed at uncovering the underlying processes in the airways that cause asthma.

In addition, physicians in the pediatric pulmonary section have worked closely with genetics experts at the University of Chicago to determine how asthma susceptibility is inherited. Studies are underway to investigate the genes that may contribute to severe persistent asthma. 

Ongoing Education and Outreach

Keeping asthma under control requires education as well. Our asthma experts take the time to teach your family what you can do to help control your child's condition. We'll show you what steps you need to take to monitor your child's breathing and ways that you can reduce your child's exposure to triggers that could set off an asthma attack.

Public education and community outreach are also a priority at Comer Children's Hospital and the Asthma Center. Our asthma education programs reduce the frequency and severity of asthma, particularly among urban populations and minority groups with a high rate of asthma.

The Asthma Center has established free asthma classes and an outreach program for residents of Chicago's public housing developments. Experts at the Asthma Center also use the American Lung Association's Asthma 101 program to educate Chicago Public Schools teachers and staff on important asthma issues in the school environment.

Part of our outreach plan also involves reaching children who may not otherwise receive care for their asthma. Through the Comer Pediatric Mobile Medical Unit, we can reach children and teens in South Side schools who may not receive regular asthma care. Our traveling healthcare professionals provide screenings for asthma, treatment, and referrals for follow-up care.

In addition, Comer Children's specialists have developed an asthma discharge kit, a tool to help families to better manage a child's asthma. The kit, which is given to families of children with asthma visiting the emergency room who agree to participate in a research study, contains a variety of helpful resources, including educational brochures and tools to monitor their asthma. While in the ER, families also view a videotape that offers vital information about managing the disease. Patients who are hospitalized or visit with a pulmonary specialist in the outpatient clinics also receive helpful information on managing their condition.

Community Asthma Program

Comer Children's physicians also provide asthma screening, education, and support through a program based at La Rabida Children's Hospital. The Community Asthma Program expands teacher and parent awareness of asthma and promotes communication between doctors, families, and schools.