Discover the NACI
A Call to Action
For the about 25 million Americans with asthma—seven million of them children—inhaling and exhaling can sometimes be as difficult as breathing through a straw.
Thanks to the National Asthma Control Initiative (NACI), a program of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), coordinated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), we now have a tremendous opportunity to help them breathe easier.
Moving the Nation toward Asthma Control
The NACI is a multi-component, mobilizing, and action-oriented initiative to engage diverse stakeholders who are concerned about or involved in improving asthma control. Its ultimate aim is to bring the asthma care that patients receive in line with evidence-based recommendations from two reports published by the NAEPP: the Expert Panel Report 3—Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (EPR-3) and its companion Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) Report—Partners Putting Guidelines Into Action. The NACI is bringing together organizations from local, state, regional, and national levels so that they can share best practices, pool and direct resources, and identify new directions and learning opportunities.
The NACI focuses on three major efforts—NACI Demonstration Projects, the NACI Strategic Partnership Program, and the NACI Champions Program. In communities across the country, these efforts are engaging health care professionals, patients and families, schools and childcare settings, professional associations, and many others to implement innovative, strategic interventions to overcome barriers to implementing clinical guidelines and reducing asthma disparities. Through such efforts, the NACI hopes to speed the adoption of these recommendations by clinicians and adherence to them by patients and their families and caregivers.
The NACI seeks to produce high-impact solutions and meaningful change in asthma control by:
- Convening and energizing national, regional, state, and local leaders.
- Developing a communication infrastructure for information sharing and accessing resources.
- Mobilizing champion networks to implement and integrate clinical and community-based interventions with emphasis on sustainability.
- Demonstrating evidence-based and best practice approaches for specific audiences in various settings with emphasis on closing the asthma disparity gap.
- Monitoring and assessing NACI progress toward its goals by measuring outcomes and sharing lessons learned.
At the core of the NACI are six priority messages selected from the EPR-3 and detailed in the GIP Report. If practiced routinely and implemented widely, these action-oriented messages have the power to improve asthma control and transform the lives of people with asthma:
- Use inhaled corticosteroids to control asthma.
- Use written asthma action plans to guide patient self-management.
- Assess asthma severity at the initial visit to determine initial treatment.
- Assess and monitor asthma control and adjust treatment if needed.
- Schedule follow-up visits at periodic intervals.
- Control environmental exposures that worsen the patient’s asthma.
Failure to control asthma diminishes physical, psychological, and social wellbeing and quality of life; increases health disparities, particularly among African American, Puerto Rican, and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations; and places added burden on families, schools, workplaces, and health care systems. It affects us all. Furthermore, the costs of asthma to the United States economy, ranging from hospitalizations to lost wages, are projected to reach $20.7 billion in 2010.
That’s why we encourage you, as a health care professional, community practitioner, educator, decision-maker, or concerned citizen, to become part of the NACI. Join the NACI’s collaborative efforts to improve asthma care, asthma control, and quality of life for all people with asthma.