Asthma Cooperative Agreement Partner Profile – Illinois

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.


The Illinois Asthma Program (the Program) has been part of CDC’s National Asthma Control Program since 2000. They work alongside partners to improve the quality of asthma care, improve asthma management in schools, and foster policies to help reduce exposure to asthma triggers in outdoor, indoor, and workplace environments.

  • Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Nikki Woolverton, MPH Program Manager
  • (217) 782-3300
  • Illinois Department of Public Health
    535 W. Jefferson St., 2nd floor
    Springfield, IL 62761
Data Profile
Grantee Profile


The Program funds the Home Visiting Collaborative, which as of September 2022 was composed of three intensive asthma home visiting (HV) programs across the state in areas that have disparities in asthma rates and outcomes. HV programs use a community health worker (CHW), nurse, or health educator, trained in asthma self-management education (AS-ME) and HV, to provide intensive AS-ME to adult and child patients referred by hospitals and clinics. The home visitors use a comprehensive assessment tool and protocol to guide actions in clients' homes and to collect indoor air quality and health outcome data. Evaluation findings reflect a variety of HV participant benefits. For example, 78% of participants receiving two or more visits reported a reduction in asthma triggers, and 90% have completed the American Lung Association's Asthma Basics course. Other findings show that 16% of the participants reported fewer missed school-and workdays, 13% reported fewer ED visits, and 5% reported fewer hospitalizations at the second visit compared to the first.

In 2021, the Program, in collaboration with the Respiratory Health Association (RHA), developed a survey for school nurses and school administrators that identified multiple barriers to improving asthma response during the school day. Eighty-five percent of school nurses indicated that their school does not currently maintain an undesignated supply of asthma emergency medication. However, 65% noted their school or district intends to maintain a stock supply in the future. RHA and the Illinois State Board of Education developed an online training for school personnel to increase availability and use of undesignated asthma rescue medication. They have made the training available online as of fall 2021.

The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine (SIU SOM) and the Program facilitate an Extension for Community Health Outcomes (ECHO), an innovative model for tele-mentoring designed to increase healthcare provider and community health worker (CHW) capacity in areas with limited access to care. SIU SOM works with health systems to recruit CHW participants in high-burden counties with health disparities. Through the ECHO, extensive education is provided to home visiting personnel on providing AS-ME, identifying and reducing asthma triggers, and building partnerships with health systems and social service agencies to help address barriers to patients' asthma control. During 2020–2021, a generalist CHW ECHO and two 6-week asthma specialty ECHOs were held, educating 79 CHWs across the state.

What the data shows


864,734 Adults with asthma

201,112 Children with asthma

In 2021, a total of 864,734 Illinois adults (8.7% of the adult population) had asthma, and 201,112 Illinois children ages 0–17 years (7.0%) had it.


64,104 ER visits

7,864 Hospitalizations

In 2021, Illinois saw 64,104 emergency department (ED) visits and 7,864 hospitalizations due to asthma. These numbers may be lower than previous years in part because the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the overall number of people seeking emergency care for any reason (MMWR May 30, 2020).