The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has been awarded approximately $3 million over the next five years to reduce asthma in Georgia. This funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doubles DPH’s asthma control budget and will immediately offer the opportunity for more outreach as children are returning to school, a vulnerable time for children with asthma.
“The additional funding will be used to promote evidence-based approaches to addressing multiple asthma triggers as well as guidelines based care. Our program will be targeting its interventions around children, especially those nine and under, to increase appropriate diagnosis and management of asthma”, said Dr. Jean O’Connor, director DPH Chronic Disease Prevention Section.
Since 2001, DPH has worked to reduce the number of Georgia deaths, hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and limitations on activity due to the improper management and control of asthma. By improving asthma surveillance, training health professionals, and educating individuals and families with asthma about self-management, DPH is improving the health and quality of life among Georgians affected by asthma.
In recent years, DPH has made significant strides in promoting the proper management of asthma. Accomplishments include creating a joint recognition project, in partnership with Region 4 EPA and Region 4 DHHS Administration for Children and Families, for Asthma Friendly Childcare settings, partnering with the Georgia Association of School Nurses to offer Certified Asthma Educator training, and, creating a Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) approved asthma management curriculum for childcare staff.
“By partnering with a diverse group of agencies, DPH is better positioned to educate Georgians about effective management and control of asthma,” said Francesca Lopez, program manager for the DPH’s Asthma Control Program. “Through established partnerships with agencies like DECAL and the Georgia Association of School Nurses, DPH is increasing access for persons with asthma to evidence-based care.”
With the additional funding from the CDC, DPH expects to strengthen and expand existing partnerships as well as develop new partnerships to further reduce the burden of asthma in Georgia.
Under the new cooperative agreement, the Georgia Asthma Control Program (GACP) will enhance its partnerships with Georgia’s public health districts as well as increase its efforts within local K-12 school settings.
“Asthma poses a host of issues within the school setting. When not properly managed, there is increased likelihood of student absenteeism, lost productivity, and most importantly, potential emergencies,” said Matt Yancey, deputy director of the Chronic Disease Prevention Section, Office of Adolescent and School Health.
Over the next five years the GACP will play an important role in assisting schools in creating and sustaining asthma-friendly environments. This includes the incorporation of coordinated school health services, ongoing asthma education, and ensuring healthy school environment.
For more information on the Georgia Asthma Control Program (GACP), please visit http://dph.georgia.gov/georgia-asthma-control-program.