The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MO DHSS) is providing school nurses with information and training to effectively manage asthma among students, raise student and school staff awareness about asthma, and inform policy makers about asthma issues in schools. With university and school board partners, MO DHSS has completed and distributed the Missouri Asthma Manual, which includes a continuing education program, to approximately 700 public school nurses; added asthma as a health issue in the school setting to the mandatory training required for all new school board members in the state; and plans to distribute a video aimed at increasing awareness of asthma as a major concern for all school staff through the school board association in the summer of 2005. With partners, MO DHSS also is developing an innovative curriculum approach to increase asthma awareness among school children and teachers. This approach enhances math, communication, and arts and science skills through the use of asthma-related teaching examples. Health-related activities are linked with mandated education standards upon which school performance is measured.
American Lung Association
Although numerous programs and initiatives target children, there is a lack of comparable focus on the needs of adults with asthma. With support from CDC, the American Lung Association (ALA) has adapted a validated asthma management education program for adults and is pilot testing and evaluating the newly adapted program at six local ALA sites. ALA expects to disseminate this program nationwide in 2006.