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Bringing National Attention to the Need for Comprehensive Asthma Care

2010 February 26

EPA is currently accepting applications for the 2010 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management, which recognizes leadership in addressing environmental triggers as part of comprehensive asthma programs. I can personally attest to the benefits of winning; in 2006, it was awarded to my program, Improving Pediatric Asthma Care in the District of Columbia (IMPACT DC).

Winning the award gave us more visibility, increasing our network and allowing us to speak with a more validated voice. We’re leveraging more opportunities to enhance asthma care services for the underserved in our community, implementing projects that allow us to increase our impact where it’s needed most. For example, we are using geographic information systems (GIS) to map emergency department (ED) visits to identify neighborhoods in need of asthma outreach and education. In addition, a grant project through the National Institutes of Health is allowing us to leverage electronic medical records, improving communication among primary care providers and generating important information about long-term trends in community health.

The award also helped us develop high-performing partnerships with local, regional and national leaders. For example, we began working with the Boston Public Health Commission, a 2009 Award Winner, to develop a legal framework for environmental remediation of rented dwellings whose poor environmental conditions risk tenants’ health. Finally, winning the award helped us increase our funding base through grants and donations. Each of these projects, partnerships and funds enhances IMPACT DC’s ability to provide comprehensive asthma care to our community members, enabling them to lead healthier, happier lives.

EPA’s emphasis on comprehensive asthma care and willingness to broadly conceptualize the issues has been important to ‘turning the tide’ of asthma care in the United States. Through the National Environmental Leadership Award, programs like ours have a platform from which to show health care providers, insurance plans, health departments, and community-based coalitions that a comprehensive approach works to improve the health, quality of life and cost of medical care for people with asthma.

If you know of a health plan, health care provider or community program improving the quality of life for those with asthma, encourage them to apply for the National Environmental Leadership Award.

Together, we can bring these issues to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness and improve the lives of millions with asthma.

About the Author: Dr. Stephen Teach is the principal investigator and medical director of IMPACT DC, and also serves as the associate chief of Emergency Medicine and associate director of the Center for Clinical and Community Research at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Al Bannet permalink
    February 26, 2010

    As the human population grows, the economy expands, and pollution spreads, diseases like asthma are bound to get worse and cost more millions of dollars to treat. Want to stop it? Peacefully reduce the human population and recycle 100% of all waste and garbage. If not, breathe deep.

  2. Jackenson Durand permalink
    February 26, 2010

    I had been observing more 7 years ago, how diseases spreading and affecting human body.
    Best preventions would come in permanent children health development observatory at early age.
    Also, I am more and more focusing in immune system comprehensive; how make it stronger.
    My observation brings me to understand, how people with Asthma are uncomfortable to the variable weather, those categories would feel better in cleaner environment.
    That is something that my understanding keeping tracks.

  3. armansyahardanis permalink
    February 26, 2010

    God, now is suffering of asthma. Her Asthma is allergic from disasters. I could attend your suffer, but you must be deal that you are not lying to my children again. Billion people are confusing about your wise. I think your act is not up to date again. Please, give the time to my children to chance for done, thought and made of decisions for their future. Thank you God…..! I love you more than you’d ever know. Best wishes : Me and my children.

  4. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    February 28, 2010

    This is one of the great environmental health programs we have. Environmental factors have a major impact in causing and/or making worse serious health problems. One major factor seems to be diesel particulate exhaust in the air over freeways and major roads that has been shown to increase the chances of heart problems for persons on the freeways 2 or 3 hours a day and to increase the risk of misscarraige in pregnant woman who live near them. The number of cases of disability is on the increase and environmental factors probably are playing a role with this trend too. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  5. Jodi Albertini permalink
    February 28, 2010

    Thank your for linking Asthma to the Enviroment, and for publishing an article like this that calls for National Attention!

    Jodi A

  6. Anne Chastain permalink
    March 5, 2010

    Both my home and the Title I (80% socioeconomically disadvantaged) Elementary School where I teach are on the same road. We are located in an industrial area in close proximity to Tampa Int’l. Airport. Jets fly over our house and school shortly after take-off and prior to landing 24/7. Jet fuel is one of the worse pollutants. Both my young children have asthma, and far too many of my students who live in the area also have asthma. In the morning the ozone hangs low in the moist air for hours. I worry about the students breathing the air during recess and P.E. I worry about the coaches breathing the pollution all day. I worry about my toddler & 8 yr old having been exposed to polllution from pregnancy to present.

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