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EPA Honors Maine, Michigan Programs for Serving as National Models for Cutting-Edge Asthma Care

Release Date: 05/01/2007
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ; Contacto en español: Lina Younes, (202) 564-4355 /

(Washington, D.C. - May 1, 2007) Commemorating World Asthma Day -- May 1 -- and kicking off Asthma Awareness Month, EPA is recognizing two leading asthma management programs that serve as national models for effective asthma care. One health plan – Priority Health of Grand Rapids, Mich. – and one health care provider – MaineHealth of Portland, Maine – have earned EPA's 2007 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management. The award recognizes innovative approaches these programs use to improve the health and quality of life for asthmatics in their communities.

"Enjoying cleaner air than just a decade ago, America is breathing easier because of President Bush's commitment to improving our air quality," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "As we increase global awareness this World Asthma Day, EPA welcomes the leadership of Priority Health and MaineHealth – important partners in our efforts to enhance the health and quality-of-life of asthma sufferers."

The 2007 award winners will be recognized at the second annual
Communities in Action for Asthma-Friendly Environments National Asthma Forum in Washington, D.C., on May 31. Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation will be presenting the awards. The National Forum brings in hundreds of health plan, health care and community officials for two days of learning and action planning. Top asthma programs from across the nation share proven strategies for reducing the burden of asthma at the community-level and show how to build, evaluate and sustain high-performing programs.

Of approximately 20 million Americans with asthma, more than six million are children. Asthma is one of the leading causes of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and school absenteeism for children. Although there is no known cure, experts now understand how to deliver asthma care that can substantially reduce the number of attacks and other adverse impacts.

The 2007 National Environmental Leadership Award winners:

More information about the National Asthma Forum and how to register: