Healthy Kids Make Better Learners

Connecticut Association of 
School Based Health Centers

Asthma

Regional Asthma Management & Prevention (RAMP) and the California School-Based Health Alliance are pleased to announce the development of a new tool!

 

Asthma Environmental Intervention Guide

for School-Based Health Centers


Asthma affects over 7 million children nationwide and is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. Even children with the best medically managed asthma will continue to suffer if they face environmental asthma triggers in their home, school, and outdoor environments. School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) are uniquely positioned to reduce environmental asthma triggers, given their role linking the student, school, and home. Learn how ten SBHCs have successfully addressed environmental triggers as part of their comprehensive asthma care strategies.

 

Regional Asthma Management & Prevention (RAMP) and the California School-Based Health Alliance, with a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency, are working together to increase engagement of SBHCs in the environmental management of asthma. Through this partnership, training on environmental asthma triggers was delivered across the country, and the Asthma Environmental Intervention Guide for School-Based Health Centers  was developed to help SBHCs provide more comprehensive asthma care to patients.

 

Additionally, two year-long learning collaboratives were launched, which supported 14 SBHCs across the country with training, technical assistance, and stipends to implement small-scale environmental interventions. The case studies highlight success stories of six SBHCs that participated in our learning collaboratives, along with four SBHCs that are leaders in asthma management and served as great sources of motivation for our work.

 

Read our case studies and learn how you can improve asthma care for patients.

 



The purpose of this guide is to support school-based health center staff in leading or supporting evidence-based strategies and promising practices to reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers. Although there is a broad array of evidence-based interventions to address asthma triggers, many people with asthma continue to be exposed to the factors that make their asthma worse. School-based health centers (SBHCs) are uniquely positioned to address this gap in order to help children breathe easier. While many SBHCs across the country are already playing a key role in helping students manage their asthma by providing quality clinical care and education there is an opportunity for SBHCs to also be leaders in managing the environmental factors that make asthma worse.

 

The guide describes the relationship between asthma and a number of environmental asthma triggers and shares scientific evidence that SBHC staff can cite when educating others on the need to address environmental asthma triggers. This is followed by five sections each tackling a strategy, or broad category of intervention, that SBHC staff could lead or support.

 

They include:

  • Education
  • Case Management
  • Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools
  • Improving the Students’ Home Environments
  • Improving Outdoor Air Quality Around the School and Community

 

Each section provides an overview of the type of intervention, points to specific tools and resources, and suggests how SBHC staff can lead or support implementation. The array of interventions is intended to serve as a “menu” from which SBHC can choose depending on their interests, resources, and the particular needs of their patient population. While a comprehensive approach that works across settings and utilizes multiple strategies is likely most effective for reducing the burden of asthma, any step that SBHCs can take to reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers will help students breathe easier. Reading this guide is the first step!