Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 5% of the US population has asthma and the numbers are growing. An estimated 4.8 million effected by asthma children, many of them from low-income families.

To help combat the rising tide of asthma among children, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded eight planning grants nationwide in 2001 to develop models to improve access to and the quality of clinical care, reduce asthma symptoms and foster patient and community education. One of the resulting programs was the Philadelphia Allies Against Asthma (PAAA) Coalition. The Health Promotion Council serves as the lead agency for the coalition.


Philadelphia Allies Against Asthma (PAAA)

Philadelphia Allies Against Asthma (PAAA) Coalition is a city-wide effort by more than 40 organizations whose goal is to reduce asthma morbidity and mortality among children in Philadelphia. Since its inception in 2000, the coalition has worked to educate community members and medical providers about asthma, coordinate asthma care for families, create uniform asthma documents and messages, and unify all individuals and organizations working to address asthma in Philadelphia. PAAA was one of five sites nation-wide to receive funding from the Merck Childhood Asthma Network. This funding allows PAAA to use a community-based approach to implement scientifically proven interventions through partnerships with the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University, The School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Public Health Management Corporation.

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Asthma Safe Kids

Asthma Safe Kids helps improve the living conditions of asthmatic children by eliminating asthma triggers in the child's home environment through education and in-home assessment. As a result, children have fewer asthma attacks and fewer Emergency Department visits and hospitalizations. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Philadelphia is ranked in their 2007 "Asthma Capital" survey as the second worst asthmatic city in the United States. Twenty percent of children living in Philadelphia under five years of age have asthma. Children who live in inner city environments are exposed to both outdoor and indoor asthma triggers, such as smog, pollen, tobacco smoke, pet allergens, cock roaches and dust. The Asthma Safe Kids education and assessment materials teach parents how to address asthma triggers in their own home. Caregivers also receive trigger-reduction supplies (e.g. mattress covers, roach bait). Education and assessment materials, adapted from the American Lung Association's Attack Asthma curriculum, and the Environmental Protection Agency's Home Environmental Assessment, are low literacy and culturally appropriate.

For more information contact:

Katherine Locke
Program Coordinator
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