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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Asthma Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Over 6 million children have asthma in the United States. Poor and minority children are disproportionately affected and at greatest risk. Approximately $50 billion dollars are spent each year on asthma, including direct medical costs from hospital stays and indirect costs, such as lost school and work days.

Mission
For 40 years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been protecting human health and the environment.

EPA’s Asthma Program addresses the role of the environment in asthma through research, regulatory measures, and non-regulatory outreach and education programs.

EPA’s Approach to Asthma Care
In an effort to address health disparities in asthma care, EPA partners with federal and non-federal stakeholders to promote and integrate environmental management into comprehensive asthma program approaches and to identify and share best practices while providing tools to facilitate the adoption of effective interventions. The program also supports the mobilization of community-level action and disease self-management by patients and families through in-home asthma education, assessment and interventions. Efforts include:

  • Investing in public awareness campaigns to educate and motivate families;
  • Promoting asthma management standards of care and best practices among asthma healthcare professionals;
  • Training healthcare professionals on the environmental component of asthma management and the importance of asthma action plans;
  • Working with clinicians who serve underserved populations to develop an important decision assessment tool for in-home assessments;
  • Harnessing and promoting best practices, resources, and mentoring to help asthma care programs sustain, expand and achieve desired outcomes. Asthma Community Network, a virtual community overseen by EPA, seeks to build the capacity of community-based programs to implement comprehensives asthma programs.

EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management

Each year through its National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management, EPA recognizes health plans, healthcare providers and communities-in-action for their leadership and best practices in environmental asthma management. For more information about previous winners of this award, visit the Hall of Fame at http://www.asthmacommunitynetwork.org/.