Repairing a Home, Improving a Child's Health: CAPP+

The Community Asthma Prevention Program Plus (CAPP+) Home Repairs Program is an extension of CHOP's Community Asthma Prevention Program, which sends specially-trained community health workers to the homes of children with difficult-to-control asthma to teach caregivers proper medicine use and ways to reduce asthma triggers in the home. These interventions alone have reduced asthma-related emergency room visits by approximately 50%.

CAPP+ takes these interventions a step further. While at the home visit, if the community health worker sees that structural home repairs would further reduce asthma triggers, they will refer the family to CAPP+. The Community Asthma Prevention Program Plus (CAPP+) Home Repairs Program, currently funded via CHOP’s Healthier Together Initiative, now partners with Rebuilding Together Philadelphia and serves homeowners in West and Southwest Philadelphia – targeting mold, pest entry-points, and dust by completing roof repairs, fixing plumbing leaks, replacing carpeting with vinyl-plank flooring, etc. Nearly 100 homes will be completed by the end of Phase I (fiscal year 2021) with even more planned in fiscal year 2022 and beyond. 


Repairing a Home, Improving a Child's Health: CAPP+

Shaneena Stephenson, Shi's mother: Shi was diagnosed with asthma about two years ago. It's scary because she's 4 now, but she still can't really explain, "I can't breathe.”

Peter M. Grollman, Senior VP of External Affairs, CHOP: One in 4 children in West Philadelphia have asthma. The Community Asthma Prevention Program is a long-standing program where community health workers are going into homes and they're really proving that they're actually keeping kids out of the hospitals by reducing the triggers of asthma. And so to that end, when we looked at CAPP Plus, we thought we could do much, much more by really going deep into the homes and looking at mold, looking at water intrusion.

Tyra Bryant Stephens, MD, CHOP: We’ve seen things that are really out of our control that requires professional home repairs.

Madeline Bell, President & CEO, CHOP: We see so many children coming for Emergency Department visits, hospital admissions for asthma. This kind of program gets us one step closer to making them healthier without ever bringing them to a doctor's office.

Tyra Bryant Stephens, MD, CHOP: We do know that with CAPP alone, we see a reduction of hospitalizations, from 40 to 50%, and we expect that to be even larger now that we're doing these major home repairs.

Shaneena Stephenson, Shi's mother: My initial reaction when I learned about the CAPP Plus program, I was ecstatic. Carmen is my asthma care coordinator. She told me that she can come out and do a home visit and look over the house to see what thing can be done in the house to help manage her asthma.

So when Carmen told me that they would do a lot of the renovation for free, to help Shi's asthma, I said, “OK, that's great, sign me up, I'm definitely for it.”

Carmen Perez, Asthma Navigator: Being a single mother with three children, she didn't have the finances to do the repairs herself so we thought she was a great candidate for this project.

Madeline Bell: CAPP Plus would not be a reality if it weren't for a partnership between Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia. We bring the health expertise and they bring the housing and zoning and code expertise, so together this makes a great partnership.

Peter M. Grollman: We sat down with Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation in the City Planning Department, and we had a discussion about housing and the social determinants of health. There's much more to health issues than meets the eye. Poverty can be a problem; poor housing can be a problem.

Kevin Bane, Asst. Program Manager, Phila. Housing Development: We thought this would be a good way for us to partner with CHOP and the community as a prevention program repair low-income Philadelphian homes. We're really excited about the opportunity to work with CAPP Plus and to help the children of Philadelphia.

Miguel Torres, PHCC: Hello how are you?

Shaneena Stephenson: Hi.

Miguel Torres, PHCC: Miguel Torres from PHDC. Here to do the inspection?

Every house, within this program will be different.

Robin Miccio, Program Manager, CHOP: Partnering with PHDC is gonna to be amazing because they're able to go into the homes and address some of these triggers: mold, dust, pests. It's really going to make a huge difference for families.

Sheila Adkins, President & CEO, Adkins Management: I am the CEO and founder of Adkins Management Inc. We are a minority-certified company who has been doing business with PHDC for more than 18 years.

Madeline Bell: It was very important to us that we promote a program that promoted jobs in the community.

Peter M. Grollman: We see CAPP Plus as an opportunity to address the inclusive economy, to put people to work.

Kevin Bane: There's a lot of minority-owned businesses and women-owned businesses that are in the Philadelphia area that are just looking for an opportunity to show what great jobs they can do.

Sheila Adkins: We're doing something that's going to change the quality of life for children which really excites me.

Jim Kenney, Mayor of Philadelphia: Kids are affected with asthma spend a lot more time out of school, which means they don't progress as much as their peers. It's gonna give kids an environment to live in, that gives them a fighting chance at having a wonderful life, having a better life than they have now.

Shaneena Stephenson: When she has asthma flare-up, it's very scary, but to have a plus like this, a benefit of the program that will help you to make it less likely to have flares? It's great. I feel like the air feels better. She has not had an asthma flare-up since. She's been able to just do her regular preventive medicine without having to use her rescue inhaler.

Peter M. Grollman: We're investing dollars in CAPP Plus because we have the evidence that this will work and achieve great outcomes. We think with philanthropic support, think with public support, we're gonna be able to sustain this work for years to come.

Shaneena Stephenson: I cannot be more satisfied with anything. Seeing her just being able to run and crawl and jump and roll around with the puppies and all of that, makes me feel so great.

What do you like about the kitchen?

Shi: Sparkly.

Shaneena Stephenson: Yeah, it’s sparkly. I love it. I love everything that they did.

Topics Covered: Asthma in children

Related Centers and Programs: Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP), Community Impact, Government Affairs, Health Policy, and Advocacy, Healthier Together Initiative, Asthma Program

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