The grant money awarded to the local hospital comes from the MFH Childhood Asthma Linkages in Missouri (CALM) program, which focuses on improving the health of children with asthma through hospital and educational programs.
Cox Monett will utilize the funding to establish an asthma education program for students and healthcare professionals as well as school nurses and administrators. The new program will also work to improve access to care for children with asthma.
The new network will be led by Cox Monett and bring together a large number of healthcare professionals, schools and healthcare organizations from both Barry and Lawrence counties.
Members of the network will include: board certified pediatric pulmonologist Dr. John Carlile; two respiratory therapists; the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services; the American Lung Association; Cox College of Nursing; the Barry and Lawrence county health departments; Ozark Tri-County Healthcare Consortium (now known as Access Healthcare).
Schools that will be served by the network will include Monett, Pierce City, Purdy, Aurora, Cassville, Exeter, Marionville, Miller, Mt. Vernon, Shell Knob, Southwest, Verona and Wheaton. School nurses and administrators from the participating school districts will also be involved in the network.
Jim Roy, Cox Monett's director of respiratory theraphy, will serve as project lead for the network.
According to Cox Monett officials, the new Community Asthma Network program will build upon the success of the hopsital's already established CARDIAC (Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Area Children) program.
This program partners the Cox Monett Wellness Department with the same area schools that will be served by the new asthma program. Through the CARDIAC program, fifth graders are screened for heart disease and receive educational information about preventing heart disease.
The grant received by Cox Monett to support the new asthma program will extend for three to five years, according to MFH officials. Established in 2000, MFH is the largest non-governmental funder of community health activities in Missouri. MFH is in its sixth year of grantmaking. During that time, the organization has awarded more than $335 million in grants.