The award is for a $15,000 pilot project entitled Engaging Rural Communities in Asthma Care.
The investigators’ project summary: “Pediatric asthma affects over 8% of youth and is a leading cause of pediatric emergency department visits and school absences. Youth diagnosed with asthma residing in rural areas are at-risk to be socioeconomically disadvantaged, medically underserved, and face restricted access to quality healthcare, particularly asthma specialists, increasing their likelihood for poor asthma outcomes. A compelling body of emerging research indicates that rural youth who are low income and reside in medically underserved areas have substantial asthma morbidity including high rates of poorly controlled asthma, frequent activity limitations and symptomatology, and higher medication usage. With 30 of Florida’s 67 counties classified as rural, there is a clear need to elucidate strategies to reduce asthma morbidity in rural communities in Florida. As a critical first step, our aims for this Phase 1 Translational Pilot Program (TPP) project are to: 1) form a sustainable stakeholder partnership team comprised of youth diagnosed with asthma and their caregivers, pediatricians, school health personnel, Department of Health officials, a University of Florida (UF) Citizen Scientist, and a multidisciplinary group of UF researchers in two rural, medically underserved counties in north Florida, and 2) collaboratively, through a planned series of community advisory board meetings, identify viable translational asthma-related research questions. Our engaged stakeholder group will pursue TPP Phase 2 funding at the conclusion of the proposed project to further refine and pilot test a translational science study aimed at reducing asthma morbidity in rural youth.”