The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency marked Asthma Awareness Month Friday by honoring leading asthma programs from across the country for their efforts to improve the lives of people with asthma in underserved communities.
The agency announced that the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) is this year’s recipient of EPA’s National Environmental Leadership Award for Communities in Action in Asthma Management, which is the highest recognition EPA bestows on a program and its leaders for delivering excellent environmental asthma management.
“Asthma prevalence and hospitalization rates are alarmingly high among Philadelphia’s children who live in low income and under-resourced communities,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “For two decades, CAPP has focused on fighting these disparities and providing asthma management in all aspects of children’s lives.”
Pennsylvania has the second highest percentage of Children suffering from asthma in the United States.
“We are honored to receive this award recognizing the sustained efforts of the CAPP team in Philadelphia,” said Dr. Tyra Bryant-Stephens, Medical Director of CAPP. “We hope to continue to expand our reach to close all gaps that create asthma disparities in Philadelphia by working with our partners in every sector that impacts asthma control in children.”
CAPP provides services at no cost to Philadelphia’s neediest families. The program equips families with asthma self-management education, in-home assessments for asthma triggers, remediation supplies and connections to community-based resources, which has led to reductions in asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
There are great geographic and racial disparities in childhood outcomes across Philadelphia.
African-Americans and Hispanics visit emergency rooms and hospitals more frequently and have higher rates of asthma-related morbidity, compared to other populations.
For twenty years CAPP has made home visits throughout the city with a special emphasis on West Philadelphia. The program has reached about thirty percent of the West Philadelphia community’s asthma population, and helped place community health workers in ten West Philadelphia schools.
May 1st, is World Asthma Day and May is Asthma Awareness Month throughout the World. EPA is committed to educating the public about asthma awareness and environmental factors that trigger asthma attacks.
Asthma is a serious, sometimes life-threatening respiratory disease that affects the quality of life for millions of Americans. Although there is no cure for asthma yet, asthma can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers.
In 1998, the first World Asthma Day was held by the Global Initiative for Asthma, a medical organization that works with public health and health care professionals globally to reduce asthma prevalence, morbidity, and mortality, and improve asthma awareness and care around the world.
World Asthma Day takes place every year on the first Tuesday of May.
For more information, visit EPA’s Asthma webpage or the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Asthma webpage.
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