State Activity Highlights
With support from CDC, the California Department of Health Services has worked with leading asthma organizations, agencies, and public interest groups throughout the state to develop an integrated plan (The Strategic Plan for Asthma in California) to address the asthma epidemic in California. A diverse advisory committee, consisting of California asthma professionals, coalitions, local public health agencies, educational agencies and schools, and health-care plans, is guiding the plan’s implementation in the state. Major components of the strategic plan include epidemiology and evaluation, public education, asthma treatment and management, secondary prevention of asthma, and policy. California will support and expand its asthma partnerships and provide technical assistance to local coalitions and public health departments in monitoring and reducing the asthma burden.
In collaboration with several community health centers and after-school programs, the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center is implementing two asthma interventions for children aged 8 to 12 who have persistent asthma problems. Through the Asthma Care Training for Kids (ACT) intervention, children and their families will be taught asthma-management skills that can help reduce the frequency and severity of asthma episodes. Through the Open Airways for School (OAS) intervention, children will be taught to detect warning signs of and identify environmental factors that can trigger an attack. The program has been shown to significantly increase asthma management skills, reduce symptoms of asthma, and improve academic performance. In 2003, 160 children and their parents are expected to complete the ACT program and 160 children are expected to complete the OAS program.