Asthma Cooperative Agreement Partner Profile – California

At a glance

CDC is funding the health departments in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin to improve the reach, quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of asthma control services and to reduce asthma morbidity, mortality and disparities by implementing evidence-based strategies.


California Breathing (CB) has been part of CDC’s National Asthma Control Program since 2000. They work alongside partners to reduce asthma disparities by providing disease surveillance, building community capacity, and developing evidence-based interventions that deliver evidence-based asthma self-management education and improve environmental conditions that cause or exacerbate asthma in disproportionately burdened populations.

  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
  • Lori Copan
  • 510-620-3627
  • California Department of Public Health
    850 Marina Bay Parkway
    Building P, 3rd Floor
    Richmond, CA 94804-6403
Data Profile
Grantee Profile


The Asthma Management Academy (the Academy) teaches guidelines-based asthma self-management education to community health workers (CHWs), using the guidelines-based “Asthma Education for the Community Health Worker” curriculum from the Association of Asthma Educators. The Academy is cofacilitated by a certified asthma educator and a CHW. It uses adult learning theory and participatory skill building activities, including asthma inhaler teach-backs. It is taught in both English and Spanish and is delivered in both virtual and in-person settings. Since 2018, the Academy has trained 603 CHWs from 88 community-based organizations, federally qualified health centers, managed care plans, and local health departments that serve patients with uncontrolled asthma in high asthma burden communities.

All participants demonstrated proficiency in asthma knowledge and skills. On average, participants scored 98% on asthma knowledge and 97% on teaching proper use of spacers and four medication delivery devices. In a post-training evaluation completed by 140 participants, 81% reported having “no knowledge,” “very little knowledge,” or “some knowledge” about asthma before the training. After the Academy, 96% of the same respondents reporting having “a lot of knowledge” or “advanced knowledge,” and 80% answered all four knowledge-based questions correctly.

Patients with uncontrolled asthma, who enrolled in asthma self-management education from CHWs who attended the Academy, experienced improved asthma outcomes; 83% demonstrated reduced hospitalizations and ED visits, 63% reported improvement in their asthma control, and 70% reported fewer missed work or school days due to asthma.

In 2021, CB conducted a racial health equity assessment of the Academy to understand how CB can better serve Black communities, since Black Californians are five times more likely to go to the emergency department for asthma and four times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma, compared to White Californians. CB conducted interviews with 14 key informants (Black individuals and Black-led organizations) and identified overarching themes, including asthma not being a priority in the community, the need for Black trainers in the Academy, and partnering with Black-led organizations. As a result of the assessment, CB updated program materials that used more inclusive language focused on Black communities, partnered with a Black-led organization to facilitate the Academy training, and began focused recruiting for Black-led organizations in high asthma burden areas to attend the Academy.

What the data shows


2,697,681 Adults with asthma

641,471 Children with asthma

In 2020, a total of 2,697,681 California adults (9.1% of the adult population) and 641,471 California children ages 0–17 years (7.0%) had asthma.


165,449 ED visits

17,594 Hospitalizations

In 2019, California recorded 165,449 emergency department (ED) visits and 17,594 hospitalizations due to asthma.