"We are really very excited to be a NACI [National Asthma Control Initiative] partner. This gives us an opportunity to build upon our existing program with our pediatric asthma Faculty Champions initiative, which is focused on the environmental component [of asthma control]."
Leyla McCurdy, M.Phil., Senior Director, Health & Environment Program, National Environmental Education Foundation (Washington, DC)
Leyla McCurdy, M.Phil., National Environmental Education Foundation, on the NACI's role in facilitating collaboration to improve asthma care.
The National Environmental Education Foundation's (NEEF) Pediatric Asthma Initiative used an expanded nationwide network of Pediatric Asthma Faculty Champions to train clinical faculty, medical students, residents, and health care providers on how to provide comprehensive asthma care, with a special focus on the environmental management of asthma. As they conducted workshops, grand rounds, and lectures at medical and nursing schools, hospitals, professional conferences, and other venues across the country, NEEF's Faculty Champions also developed partnerships with faculty, administrators, and health care providers. Their aim? To make clinical asthma guidelines an ongoing part of residency training, medical and nursing school curricula, and pediatric and primary care practices.
NEEF updated the training materials and tools used by its Faculty Champions with the six priority Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) messages developed by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) to reinforce the importance of guidelines-based asthma care. In addition, NEEF created new materials for distribution by its Faculty Champions to raise awareness and promote use of the six GIP messages, including both a pocket tool card for health care providers and a NEEF-NACI partnership card available on NEEF's Pediatric Asthma Initiative homepage. Exhibiting and presenting at conferences of health professionals provides additional opportunities to distribute NEEF's asthma materials to a large contingent of its target audience.
Increase the number of health care professionals who are successfully integrating the six priority messages of the NAEPP's Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) Report into the care of their asthma patients, with special attention given to environmental management of asthma.
Promote integration of comprehensive management of pediatric asthma into residency training, medical school curriculum, and the health care system in a sustainable manner.
Leyla McCurdy (left ) with Helen Ragazzi M.D., representing the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation, a NACI Demonstration Project, during a NACI meeting in Baltimore, MD.
Challenges & Solutions
Challenge: Identify new outreach opportunities. NEEF continuously strives to build relationships with new networks and groups to promote asthma control with a focus on environmental management. NEEF found it challenging, however, to identify conferences, meetings, and trainings being held by other NACI partners to take full advantage of this network as a means of expanding the reach of its Pediatric Asthma Initiative.
Solution: Utilize the NACI's communication network. NEEF sent an announcement to the other NACI–funded projects summarizing its Pediatric Asthma Faculty Champions Initiative and offering training opportunities to partner programs. NACI projects responded enthusiastically. For example, at the request of the HHC Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center in Brooklyn, NY, a NACI Demonstration Project, a NEEF Faculty Champion conducted a training session for pediatricians on the environmental management of pediatric asthma. In coordination with another NACI Demonstration Project, Medical Care Development, a NEEF Faculty Champion provided training for staff at a regional hospital in Calais, Maine.
NEEF trained 487 faculty members, 1,226 residents and students, 181 clinicians, and 164 health care professionals over a nearly two-year period, well exceeding its initial objective of training 100 faculty members and 300 residents and students.