Yes we can

This web site is aimed at public health program coordinators, clinic directors, clinicians, and asthma community health workers. It offers detailed information about the YES WE CAN medical-social model of care, the YES WE CAN Toolkit, Managing Children’s Asthma: A Community-Focused, Team Approach, related training opportunities, and resources for practitioners. We also offer links to other useful asthma websites and organizations. If you are an asthma patient, or the caregiver for someone with asthma, you may wish to go directly to our links page.

We know how to prevent uncontrolled children’s asthma. But in a healthcare system geared to acute care rather than chronic care, an abyss exists between what we know and what we do. The gap is particularly wide in stressed community-based and public health clinics, serving the neediest patients.

To close that gap, YES WE CAN set out to demonstrate a team model of prevention-oriented children’s asthma care that addresses both the social and the medical challenges of good asthma management. The primary care team consists of a clinician, a nurse care coordinator, and a community health worker from the child’s own community. The team approach builds cultural and linguistic competence into the heart of health care, and enables non-physicians to play a strong role in supporting asthma self-management. A structured care pathway makes it easier for busy health professionals to put the NIH Clinical Guidelines into practice.

The YES WE CAN Urban Asthma Partnership was formed in 1997, when a group of 16 organizations came together to improve clinical asthma care in the health safety net (see Credits for a list of these organizations). We have three San Francisco demonstration clinic sites that are showing excellent outcomes in health and utilization.

In summer 2004 we released a Toolkit, Managing Children’s Asthma: A Community-Focused, Team Approach, developed in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Northern California, that provides a step-by-step template for how to implement this team model of chronic conditions management. All protocols, forms, and training materials have been extensively tested in the real world. They are available on an included CD ROM, for your clinic to customize. In the future we intend to adapt this team approach to other chronic diseases. We are currently advocating for financing and system changes needed to support prevention-oriented care.