Dean History: Neighborhood Asthma Clinic- Dean - WI

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Dean Medical Group's History

A Tour Through The Decades

Dean History: Neighborhood Asthma Clinic

Neighborhood Asthma Clinic

“I’m just so thankful this place exists because given the state of insurance right now, especially for me, I’d probably be in a sad state without it.”

‑ Neighborhood Asthma Clinic Patient

The Neighborhood Asthma Clinic was conceived through a health needs assessment. Allergists conducted a patient zip code analysis, which revealed a need for outpatient asthma education and treatment in the low-income area of Allied Drive in south Madison.

A small storefront in a local strip mall was donated for the clinic, which was funded by St. Mary’s Hospital, and Dean Health System and Dean Health Plan with assistance from Dean Foundation. In April 1998, the clinic’s doors were opened to the public one night a week.

Making a positive impact

Lynne Edebohls, coordinator of the Asthma Clinic, remembered a house call she made in the early days of the clinic to the home of a little girl who kept turning up at a local emergency department with breathing trouble.

“The parents were smoking in the house, there was mold in the basement where the girl slept, there were dead animals in the septic system,” she recalled. She returned to the girl’s house with an environmental specialist who devised a cleanup plan for the family. The girl, needless to say, got better.

Each week, Edebohls encounters people who, like the girl and her family, have the desire to control their asthma but don’t know how. By providing free screening, education and treatment for coping with asthma, the clinic greatly improves the quality of life for children and adults whose activities have been severely compromised by asthma.

The clinic’s impact on the community has been “overwhelming,” says Edebohls. Asthma no longer prevents people from getting a good night’s sleep so they can hold down jobs. More asthmatic children are able to stay in school. “People can take care of their children and play with their grandchildren and enjoy their lives,” Edebohls said. “There’s a world of difference between being alive and enjoying life.”

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