As a business consultant to the Merck Foundation Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN), Visionary Consulting Partners, LLC (VCP) was selected to provide advisory consulting services to help develop comprehensive and innovative community outreach strategies, build partnerships and implementation plans, and disseminate asthma counselor/case management intervention models throughout the U.S. With asthma studies conducted in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Michigan, New Orleans and Puerto Rico, MCAN is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2005 as the only private foundation solely focused on addressing the chronic and ever-growing problem of childhood asthma in the U.S. From 2005 to 2015, MCAN granted more than $20 million to programs based in some of the nation’s most impoverished, at-risk communities to study the impact of evidence-based interventions on symptoms and urgent care use among children living with asthma.
With VCP’s longstanding commitment and technical expertise in the development and delivery of behavioral interventions for acute and chronic diseases, our team is able to provide a synergetic opportunity for both Visionary and MCAN to proliferate relevant discourse and implementation of customized, community-based approaches and intervention models that would result in improved access and quality of asthma healthcare for children – especially the vulnerable and medically underserved – through research, community programs and partnerships.
Visionary was later called upon to assist the National Institutes of Health (NIH), various foundations – including MCAN – and also the Louisiana Department of Public Health to provide post Hurricane Katrina educational and technical assistance to the Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL) Project. By way of background, in August 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the coast line of the Gulf of Mexico and storm surges as high as 14 feet served to destroy the levee system protecting New Orleans – flooding as much as 80 percent of this city of 455,000 residents.
Childhood asthma had long been the subject of medical research, and the confusion and chaos that prevailed in the storm’s wake offered a unique opportunity to study the many variables associated with severe childhood asthma and the effectiveness of various strategies designed to assist families managing the chronic illness. To this end, The City of New Orleans Department of Health and Tulane University Health Sciences Center collaborated to support the HEAL Project.
In part, the initiative sought to determine whether asthma morbidity in children could be decreased by implementing an adapted and enhanced (for post-disaster) asthma counselor intervention that included case management and guidance for addressing environmental factors such as mold and allergens. The research was supported by public and private sector partners including federal and local government agencies and private foundations.
At the Project’s conclusion, Visionary placed a certified asthma educator at the New Orleans care site to disseminate coordinated asthma care services and provide support to the medically underserved, including children and others who remained displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Visionary also served in an advocacy capacity with relevant stakeholders; advancing quality asthma care and educating families, community-based organizations, school administrators and health care providers throughout New Orleans on evidenced-based, customized asthma counselor/case management and interventions.
From VCP’s efforts, the team helped to establish and sustain important partnerships, alliances and capacity that remain integral to expanding these relevant services to as many individuals as possible and keeping key individuals in the New Orleans Health Department informed of the longer-term benefits of implementing the asthma counselor/case management interventions. As these approaches become more widely integrated into asthma diagnoses and treatment improvement protocols, Visionary looks forward to continuing to provide thought leadership on targeted efforts, along with relevant solutions that will improve child health in the Gulf Region.
Founded in 2008, VCP is passionately dedicated to working with health agencies and health care providers to develop and implement cost-effective, best-practice methodologies. VCP understands the primary role chronic disease plays in rising health care costs. Using a patient- centered approach, combined with expertise in applying evidence-based methodologies, VCP’s goal is to improve lives while driving substantial cost savings for the government, health care providers, insurers, and payers.