The Asthma Impact Model is a free and active California collaborative program that provides services to community members with Asthma. AIM is in eight counties and is expanding to Kern.
In Kern County alone, nearly 111,000 children and adults have been diagnosed with asthma, according to the Kern County Asthma Profile in 2016.
The goals of AIM, which is a program of the Central California Asthma Collaborative, include decreasing emergency visits and missed school and work days and educating those struggling with asthma through home visits.
“Seeing change and improvements in a patient’s life, feeling you are helping someone and receiving gratitude have been my biggest takeaway,” said Yanni Gonzalez, AIM’s Communications Director and Programs Coordinator.
Some of the services AIM provides include educating patients to know the difference between a regular and emergency inhaler; helping patients get to their doctor visits; teaching patients how to advocate for themselves; connecting patients to resources; checking windows for open gaps; ensuring vents inside homes are working properly; educating on how to take medications properly; and showing patients how to check filters and read labels.
“(AIM) provided an opportunity to implement services to those in need, in disadvantaged communities such as here in the Valley who do not have access or funding to the services we provide,” said Angela Islas, who is a Policy Advocate for AIM.
Resources AIM may provide include, though not limited to: obtaining a free vacuum cleaner, pest control services, hygienic pillow cases, filters for AC units and humidity readers.
“Asthma should not be a constraint or obstacle on the things children and adults love to do, such as playing soccer, going on a hike or bike ride,” Islas said. “AIM ensures in helping their patients manage asthma to make their life simple.”
AIM is a free one year program and open to anyone who has asthma. To sign up, contact Ana Ravera, community health worker, at her office, 930 Truxtun Ave., at 438-1791.
For more information, head to cencalasthma.org