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Presidential Task Force on Asthma

woman using inhaler

Protecting our children is crucial for the future of the nation. Their health and development are particularly vulnerable to disease and the environment around them.

More than 10 million children have been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives, and poor and minority children suffer the most.

Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services joined U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to release The Coordinated Federal Action Plan to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Asthma Disparities ( This action plan presents a framework to maximize the use of existing federal resources for addressing this major public health challenge during the next three to five years.

CDC’s National Asthma Control Program ( played a major role in drafting this plan, and will lead many of the key activities outlined. For example, because of CDC’s experience in program evaluation and working with state programs, we will lead development of standardized measures for implementation research and program evaluation across the federal government. Consistency in how federal programs define terms and collect and measure data will help U.S. draw conclusions about the most effective interventions to protect our children from asthma.

In this plan, the federal agencies propose to build on the strengths and lessons learned from past and existing federal asthma programs, combine efforts among federal programs at the community level, and within existing resources develop collaborative strategies to fill knowledge gaps.

The federal agencies that collaborated to develop this plan all are members of the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risk and Safety Risks to Children. This task force was re-established in 2010 to reduce risks from environmental exposure at home, school, and play areas. Asthma is one of three priority topics identified by the task force.

CDC’s National Asthma Control Program ( played a major role in drafting this plan in collaboration with other federal agencies, and will lead many of the key activities outlined.