Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading nonprofit patient outreach, education, advocacy and research organization, is committed to leading efforts to end inequities in healthcare, especially for those adversely impacted by COVID-19, asthma and COPD.
This month, the Network will take action to address these unmet needs in a greater way by hosting a series of COVID-19, asthma and COPD screenings at churches in predominantly African American communities in Atlanta. The screenings are part of the organization’s Not One More Life Trusted Messengers Program and is made possible through a new public-private partnership with global biopharmaceutical company Sanofi US, digital implementation partner Self Care Catalysts and numerous other organizations at the local, regional and national levels.
The first health screening event is Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at:
Ebenezer Baptist Church
101 Jackson Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
The second health screening event is Saturday, Sept. 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at:
New Life Church
3592 Flat Shoals Road
Decatur, Georgia 30034
Participants will receive results of their COVID-19 and respiratory health screenings the same day. In addition, healthcare professionals will be on hand to discuss results of the screenings, provide referrals to local resources, and offer patient education and information.
Free flu vaccinations, face masks, school supplies for children and food vouchers will also be available.
“COVID-19, asthma and COPD are life-changing medical conditions that can lead to poor health outcomes. We are excited to offer these free screenings to people living in Atlanta,” says Tonya Winders, President and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network. “Along with our partners, we are working to reduce barriers to care for at-risk patients and communities of color. We are also supporting the screenings with innovative digital tools that translate patient data into personalized healthcare solutions.”
“Regular COVID testing is an important tool for fighting the virus. Given our commitment to the health and well-being of all people, particularly those who do not have access to or can afford tests, Ebenezer Baptist Church is proud to be a partner in making this happen,” says Reverend Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, Senior Pastor at Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Patient engagement and intervention is a critical part of the program. Through its digital implementation partner, Self Care Catalysts, Allergy & Asthma Network is making available a free patient engagement app, Health Storylines, to enable participants to access educational resources, monitor their symptoms and interact with Care Navigators. The Health Storylines app includes functionality that allows patients to share an overview of their symptoms and health history. This will help healthcare professionals to make more informed and efficient assessments based on the patient’s data.
“Healthcare happens in the community and Self Care Catalysts has built a patient-driven digital platform that connects the patient to the often siloed stakeholders in healthcare to improve health outcomes. Faith communities are critical pillars and we at Self Care Catalysts are thrilled to be the lead digital implementation partner for this groundbreaking initiative by Asthma & Allergy Network,” says Grace Castillo-Soyao, Founder and CEO.
In addition, people who test positive for COVID-19 or who have underlying respiratory conditions will be invited to take part in a telehealth program that involves a community health hub and research partnerships in the months following the screenings.
“We are grateful that our health screenings have received strong support from prominent members of the Atlanta community, including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and local pastor and musician Montell Jordan,” Winders says.
People who want to attend the Atlanta health screenings are asked to first register online at TrustedMessengers.org.
Not One More Life and Addressing Health Disparities
COVID-19 data reveals the virus has been devastating to communities of color. African Americans in particular account for an alarmingly high rate of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), African Americans are 2.1 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than Caucasians.
In addition, African Americans face significantly higher rates of emergency department visits and deaths due to asthma. Factors for these disparities include air pollution in urban areas, lack of housing, stable income and inability to access quality and affordable healthcare.
Not One More Life was originally founded in 2003 by Atlanta-based pediatric pulmonologist LeRoy Graham, MD. Not One More Life, which merged with Allergy & Asthma Network in 2019, sends doctors, nurses, asthma educators and respiratory therapists to predominantly Black churches to provide free asthma screenings and patient education.
“By partnering with churches in African American communities, we are bringing quality healthcare to where it is needed most,” Dr. Graham says. “Not One More Life is giving patients and families the knowledge they need – from trusted, credible sources – to make informed healthcare decisions. Research shows 90% of participants at Not One More Life’s asthma screenings report seeing a doctor after the initial screening.”
The Not One More Life Trusted Messengers Program will be expanded to additional U.S. cities in 2021 and beyond.
For more information about the Atlanta health screenings, please call Allergy & Asthma Network at 800-878-4403 or visit TrustedMessengers.org.