As part of the PADM Program, a Community Health Worker conducted a home visit for Keven and his family to understand his environment and to ascertain what factors might be contributing to Keven’s chronic asthma. Keven’s severe, chronic asthma required the use of a nebulizer machine with prescribed medication. During Keven’s follow-up appointment at one of our Health Centers, one of our pediatricians learned that Keven’s father was not able to administer Keven’s asthma medication because their electricity had been shut-off for more than a month; a nebulizer machine requires electric power to run.
Our CHW spoke to Keven’s father to obtain information regarding their home situation. He informed CHW that the lack of electricity caused additional health crises. Not only was Keven missing his asthma medication because the nebulizer machine required electricity to operate, but he subsequently developed a phobia of the dark. Compounding Keven’s already serious health and emotional issues, the absence of electricity forced the family to consistently eat “fast food” rather than cook healthy meals at home. As a result, Keven gained a precipitous amount of weight. Keven’s father disclosed that the balance due on the electric bill was approximately $1,000. He attempted to seek relief from the LA Department of Water and Power, but without success. Both he and his wife were unemployed at the time and the family faced eviction.
Our CHW suggested several resources for the family to seek help. Keven’s father called our CHW a few days later to inform her that a representative from one of her resources mentioned that a letter from Keven’s pediatrician, would greatly improve his application for financial assistance.
Keven’s pediatrician sent a letter to the Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE). The letter described the situation and explained that living without electricity negatively impacted Keven’s chronic asthma and threatened his health. Furthermore, living without electricity caused additional health and psychological issues for Keven. Keven’s pediatrician outlined the family’s serious need for immediate assistance, for additional resources, and for help on their finances and housing.
The family was contacted a month later to follow-up. Keven’s mother reported that the pediatrician’s letter was the critical piece of their application, resulting in having their electricity reconnected within two weeks of submitting the application. Keven’s mother was thrilled with the support her family received from our PADM Program.
“Now that Keven keeps up-to-date with his medication,” Keven’s mother happily expressed, “his asthma is very well controlled. He is also seeing a psychologist who is actively working with him to overcome his phobia of the dark. We are all so grateful to [the PADM Program].”
QueensCare Health Centers’ PADM Program and its proactive, holistic approach to healthcare directly improved 8-year-old Keven’s asthma, as well as his overall quality of life.