The Asthma Center, another innovative program under the direction of Nicklaus Children's Pulmonology Division, has quite different goals. This Center is designed to reverse upward trends in asthma morbidity by providing proactive outreach care to the increasing number of asthmatic children who have no access to preventive care.
Asthma goes undiagnosed 50 percent of the time. And, while asthma in children is generally controllable through preventive care, incidents of the disease have increased 40 percent in the last decade. Costs to society in emergency room admissions, lost school days and hospitalization now amount to one percent of overall healthcare costs, or $8 billion annually. Much of this cost and suffering is preventable. No community can afford to treat pediatric asthma in the emergency room; it must be diagnosed and treated proactively in the home and at school through education, early detection and preventive medicine.
To accomplish these goals, Nicklaus Children's Pulmonology Division has taken its fight against asthma in children on the road. Health-on-Wheels vehicles, the hospitals mobile healthcare units, now make routine stops at community schools and civic organizations to provide checkups, inoculations and early diagnosis of asthma and other diseases.