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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Responding to asthma as a public health problem: Partnering to develop and implement a countywide asthma plan to improve the quality of life for people with asthma

Erica L. Fishman, MSW MPH1, Karen A. Monsen, MS RN2, and Debra L. Lee, BA LSN PHN2. (1) Asthma Program, Minnesota Department of Health, 85 E. 7th Pl, P.O. Box 64882, St. Paul, MN 55164-0882, 651-201-5899, erica.fishman@health.state.mn.us, (2) Public Health and Environment, Washington County Minnesota, PO Box 6, 14949 62nd Street N, Stillwater, MN 55082

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States. It is increasingly recognized as a public health priority due to rapidly rising incidence rates and high morbidity, mortality, and treatment costs. Despite these facts, local public health efforts around asthma prevention and control have been sporadic. Successfully addressing asthma requires a multifaceted approach including personal health care and environmental strategies. In 2005, Washington County Public Health and Environment Asthma Work Group was formed to define their department's role in responding to asthma as a public health problem. Members consisted of a representative from each agency team: family health nursing, disease prevention and control, elderly and disabled case management, health promotion, environmental health, and administration. Representatives from Minnesota Department of Health and the Metro Asthma Coalition also attended. Research on environmental triggers, effective community interventions and best practices regarding asthma management were reviewed. The group conducted a needs assessment of agency staff and the community to assess knowledge, needs, resources and gaps related to asthma education and management. Significant gaps were identified in the areas of health care practitioner knowledge, community resource availability, and environmental assessment capacity. Based on these gaps, the department formalized their approach to asthma as a public health priority by developing a countywide plan. Included were staff roles and innovative population-based strategies and activities at the individual, community and systems levels. Information on the planning and implementation process and how this model can be replicated in other county health departments will be presented.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, the participant in this session will be able to

Keywords: Asthma, Community Health Planning

Related Web page: www.health.state.mn.us/asthma

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

Handout (.ppt format, 2039.0 kb)

Partnerships Working Together to Promote Healthy Behaviors

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA