The Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) serves low-income and under-resourced communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which have high asthma prevalence and hospitalization rates. Since its inception, CAPP has focused on fighting these disparities in childhood asthma and providing asthma self-management education in all sectors of a child’s life, including the home, community, school and health care environments.
Medical Director Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens leads a staff of 12 that includes a registered clinical nurse, educational coordinators, asthma navigators and lay home visitors. Coordinators oversee the programs and develop connections within the community to teach community asthma classes. The program equips families with asthma self-management education, in-home assessments for asthma triggers, remediation supplies, and connections to community-based resources to improve children’s asthma.
CAPP pursues and maintains strong partnerships to address asthma disparities in schools, homes and the community at large. CAPP’s partners include parents, the public school system, primary care providers, the public health department, managed care organizations and faith-based organizations. Building on this foundation, CAPP is now utilizing community health workers (CHWs) to connect the home, community, school and health care sectors in a research project funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. CAPP’s CHWs are currently among the few nationwide who are reimbursable by health insurance companies.
Twenty years after its founding, CAPP has served more than 4,000 families and conducted approximately 20,000 home visits, primary care education for more than 21 practices, asthma education for numerous school professionals, and school-based student asthma classes in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. The program has reached about 30 percent of the West Philadelphia community’s asthma population. In an evaluation of 2010-2014 data, CAPP’s program success realized a 62% reduction in emergency visits and a 70% reduction in hospitalizations.
The Philadelphia CAPP program’s success has sparked relationships beyond Philadelphia. In 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a long-time funder, requested that CAPP expand its reach to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although this project is in the initial phase, stakeholders are confident that the CAPP model will have positive outcomes within this new target area.
The significance of CAPP’s work afforded the director the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama on climate change and public health in 2015.