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EPA Announces 2018 Asthma Management Award Winners

05/09/2018
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON  — As part of Asthma Awareness Month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing two outstanding programs with the National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management: The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Pediatric Asthma and Allergy Clinic (PAAC) and the Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. EPA applauds the work of these institutions to help their communities identify and reduce asthma triggers in children’s environments. 

“Asthma is a public health issue, an economic issue, and an environmental issue that impacts all communities,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum. “EPA is recognizing the innovation and progress made by these organizations that deliver real solutions for those who battle asthma.”

Each year, EPA honors exceptional health plans, health care providers, and communities in action who showcase the highest standards in asthma care and management. This year’s honorees have fostered high-performing partnerships that have improved the daily lives of those with asthma and their families. 

Asthma is a serious respiratory disease that affects the quality of life of more than 23 million Americans and their families.  An enormous challenge for the medical and public health communities alike, asthma creates a substantial impact on the economy in terms of both direct medical costs and lost productivity. To reduce the national burden of asthma, EPA implements a multi-faceted program comprised of research, regulatory measures and non-regulatory community-based technical assistance, outreach and education campaigns. 

EPA facilitates a network of over 1,100 community-based programs to find local solutions for delivering and sustaining comprehensive asthma care by offering technical assistance and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. As a result, more and more programs like PAAC and CAPP are deploying innovative approaches and best practices to successfully improve the lives of people with asthma in their communities.

The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital Pediatric Asthma and Allergy Clinic is a comprehensive asthma management program built upon a medical-social model of subspecialty care. At the heart of the program is the community health worker (CHW) who acts as a powerful patient advocate and a liaison between the community and the clinic. The patient population PAAC serves is approximately 62% Latino, 18% African-American and 12% Asian. During home visits, culturally-sensitive CHWs address common environmental asthma triggers. PAAC also works with schools and daycare centers to reduce indoor triggers and improve communication between families and schools regarding asthma treatment plans. PAAC’s efforts have paid off, yielding a 40% reduction in asthma hospitalizations in a review of data from 2015-2016.

The Community Asthma Prevention Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides asthma self-management education in all sectors of a child’s life, including home, community, school, and health care environments. CAPP’s community health workers are recruited from the very community in which they serve. CHWs are primarily Black/African American or Hispanic, and the CHWs are among only a few nationwide to be reimbursed by health insurance companies for home visits. In an evaluation of 2010-2014 data, CAPP realized a 62% reduction in asthma-related emergency visits and a 70% reduction in hospitalizations.

Learn more about the 2018 National Environmental Leadership Award winners