By Dr. Larry Chiaramonte
The fact that Connecticut pediatricians enrolled thousands of children in six communities in an asthma management program and achieved substantial decreases in the number of exacerbations and expensive hospital treatment should be yesterday’s news, except that it isn’t. The techniques used, which included diligent use of inhaled corticosteroids and written asthma action plans, were proved long ago. What is news is that pediatricians have been enlisted in the fight. Dr. Ehrlich and I have seen the handwriting on the wall for years—that there aren’t enough allergists to go around, and that the burden of treating most asthmatic children would fall on pediatricians and family practitioners. A big part of the impetus for writing our book and creating this website was to help leverage our specialty knowledge among non-specialists. I am happy to see that these doctors in my home state get it, with or without our help. I hope their model will be replicated in more communities, at vast savings in quality of life and health care costs. Call it the Nutmeg State or the Constitution State, Connecticut doctors have done good work.