Pediatric Asthma Surveillance System

Pediatric Asthma Surveillance System (PASS)*

An interactive dashboard spotlights Dallas County communities with high asthma rates.

PCCI, Parkland Health and Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) have collaborated to create a new Pediatric Asthma Surveillance System (PASS) that describes community-level information regarding pediatric asthma risk factors in Dallas County.

The interactive dashboard was developed as part of the pediatric asthma initiative through the Dallas County Community Health Needs Assessment. The overall goal of this surveillance system is to provide current and accurate data to stakeholders interested in planning, developing and deploying pediatric asthma interventions, programs and policy; with this in mind, PASS data sets will be updated regularly hereafter.

“The Pediatric Asthma Surveillance System provides valuable key insights into pediatric asthma vulnerability and the associated clinical, demographic, environmental and social/economic drivers. Being able to drill down to neighborhoods and specific census tracts will provide public health leaders and agencies with data they need to address health disparities in the community and improve pediatric asthma for all,” said Steve Miff, PhD, PCCI’s CEO and President.


PASS includes a novel, validated Pediatric Asthma Vulnerability Index, that integrates health and social data insights to identify communities where children have higher vulnerability to poor asthma outcomes and highlight areas of health disparities. It can also predict the probability of a community-level asthma-related emergency department (ED) visit or hospitalization within three months, by incorporating the effect of 10 community indicators such as socioeconomic conditions, demographic characteristics, medication use patterns, health services utilization and environmental conditions, on community-level asthma risk. 

“We plan on using the data from PASS to help us strategize outreach into the community,” said Cesar Termulo, MD, Pediatrician and Associate Medical Director at Parkland. “There are many children who might not be aware that they have asthma. They might solely be having a chronic cough or shortness of breath with exercise. Thus, it is important to find those pockets of Dallas County that might have a higher vulnerability to asthma attacks and raise awareness in the community to diagnose those children who have unrecognized asthma.” 

At every geographic level, a risk-driven, color-coded map is displayed in the center with demographic data included below the map. The Vulnerability Index and all indicators are categorized as Very High, High, Moderate, Low or Very Low Risk based on their impact on Pediatric Asthma Vulnerability in the community. The user can drill down from the Vulnerability Index view to specific indicator views by clicking on specific indicators of interest or navigating to the “Other Indicators” tab. The user can also navigate the map from a ZIP Code view to a Census Tract view to further analyze microgeographic disparities and can select a specific geography of interest for further analysis.

The PASS is also meant to support Parkland and DCHHS efforts in reducing poor health outcomes related to pediatric asthma and will be used to outreach and engage parents or caregivers to participate in Parkland’s pediatric asthma text notification. Parkland’s asthma text message program is an interactive tool designed to help parents manage their child’s asthma.

“This is a win for Dallas County.” ~ the Dallas Morning News

*This work is funded in part by Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving for founder Lyda Hill and includes her foundation and personal philanthropy. Our organization is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature, empowering nonprofit organizations and improving the Texas and Colorado communities. Because Miss Hill has a fervent belief that "science is the answer" to many of life's most challenging issues, she has chosen to donate the entirety of her estate to philanthropy and scientific research. For more details visit