Healthy Homes Des Moines (HHDSM), a BUILD Health Challenge community in Iowa, made great strides in their home-based asthma intervention programs in the past year.

Asthma affects Iowa Medicaid populations at a staggering rate, and the issue is particularly severe in Des Moines, where asthma burdens several communities and results in expensive medical bills, absences from school and work, and countless emergency room visits. In response, HHDSM strategized and implemented short and long-term goals to improve children’s health. HHDSM’s strategic plan includes using medical professionals to identify at-risk families, repairing homes that pose health risks, and educating the community about the causes and risks of asthma.

Participating families represent some of Des Moines’ most vulnerable populations, with all qualifying for Medicaid. To be eligible, families must have children between 2-12 years of age and have a nebulizer or inhaler prescription. Medical partners such as Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines and school nurses have played the largest role in referring participants.

The BUILD Health Challenge grant has allowed HHDSM to thoroughly repair homes and change the trajectory of children’s health across the city. The program has successfully repaired 26 homes, decreasing asthma risks and creating a healthier Des Moines. HHDSM’s efforts to educate families about the causes of asthma have also helped parents feel confident about the future, reporting that they now feel able to take care of their homes in ways that manage their children’s asthma.

The accompanying infographic provides more information on HHDSM’s successes and highlights the power of health education and necessary repairs. The BUILD Health community is inspired by the impact of this program and excited to see how it will continue to grow.

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