Shelby Zink
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School-Based Asthma Care

Increasing Healthy Equity Among Urban Teens


How can medical providers and schools integrate systems of care for teens with asthma to help decrease symptoms?

In collaboration with UR Medicine and a team of researchers, physicians, psychologists, school nurses, teens and caregivers we led city-wide asthma campaign. The goal of the campaign was to test the delivery of sustainable methods of school-based care and increase symptom free days for adolescents with asthma.

Role: Participant Recruitment, Home/School-Based Surveys, Interviews, Information Organization, Visual Design, Infographic Design, Asthma Education

Time: 2 years



Urban children are disproportionally affected by high rates of uncontrolled asthma symptoms. Almost 8 million children in the U.S. are affected by asthma and more than ten percent of the children living in the city of Rochester, NY suffer from asthma. Asthma can cause recurrent symptoms as well as missed school days, parents’ missed workdays, and substantial stress on daily family life. Hospitalization rates for childhood asthma are high, and appear to be increasing.



The team and I recruited over 400 families via phone, school, and doctors offices. For families who consented to participate in the study, we lead in-depth home and school-based interviews and surveys. Home visits allowed the team and I to build trust with our participants, get an accurate view of teen’s lifestyle, medication use, and understand the barriers that impact asthma health.

In addition to field research, I worked with principal investigators to program and test research surveys, organize survey data, and lead focus groups with stakeholders. Learn more about research here.



I created outreach materials that incorporated visual icons and graphics to engage and educate the community. When the creating materials I took in the following design considerations:

- Be inclusive to the various educational backgrounds of families

- Make asthma care approachable, friendly, clear, and transparent for parents and teens



To share research findings and bridge the disconnect between research publications and the community I designed an infographic highlighting our team’s findings. At the end of the study, parents were mailed an infographic which included a summary of the study and the primary outcomes in a visual and approachable format.


Asthma Education

In addition to researching and designing, I taught the American Lung Association’s’ Kickin Asthma’ curriculum in one-on-one individualized sessions to Rochester teens at school.

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Working with the community to improve preventive care CONNECTING TEENS, FAMILIES, SCHOOLS & MEDICAL PROVIDERS

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Building trust and connection through home based research

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engaging Rochester City Schools students & families

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participant ENGAGEMENT through VISUAL findings


educating teens