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Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

"Our goal at AAFA is to educate health care professionals and caregivers on how to spot the symptoms of asthma and allergic diseases and how to provide effective care to children and adults to ensure that their asthma and allergies are controlled."

Charlotte Collins, J.D., Vice President of Policy and Programs, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (Landover, MD)

Project Snapshot

Charlotte Collins, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and Melinda Shuler, Mission Healthcare Foundation, converse at a NACI meeting in Baltimore, MD.
Charlotte Collins, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and Melinda Shuler, Mission Healthcare Foundation, converse at a NACI meeting in Baltimore, MD.

Through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), coordinated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) committed to a two-year strategic partnership with the NAEPP's National Asthma Control Initiative to increase awareness and use of the six priority messages of the NAEPP's Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) Report by health care professionals, patients, and families. When the NAEPP launched the NACI in 2008, AAFA was one of the first organizations to pledge its support for the initiative.

As a key activity of the MOU, AAFA incorporated the NAEPP's six GIP priority messages into the materials developed for its Asthma Management and Education (AME) program. AAFA designed the AME program to educate nurses, respiratory therapists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and other health professionals on the current NAEPP guidelines and strategies for educating patients about managing their asthma. AAFA's program has been approved for continuing education credits by the Maryland Nurses Association and by the American Association of Respiratory Care. AAFA also offers a free online version of the AME program on its Web site.

Project Goals

  1. Integrate the six priority GIP messages into AAFA's Asthma Management and Education (AME) program and Asthma Management and Education Online (AME-O) program.
  2. Optimize dissemination and uptake of the GIP priority messages among medical and allied health professionals and their patients.
  3. Explore opportunities for further collaboration.

Challenges & Solutions

Challenge: Disseminate GIP priority messages for high-quality, patient-centered asthma care. To reinforce the impact of its clinical asthma education programs, AAFA looked for efficient ways to encourage large numbers of patients and caregivers to ask their health care provider to follow the six GIP priority messages in their asthma care visits, and to focus on these messages in their own lives.

Solution: Leverage AAFA's communication and partnership networks. AAFA published several articles on the six priority GIP messages in its two national newsletters. The two publications have a combined potential audience of up to 80,000 patients, family members, and caregivers. The articles encouraged patients with asthma, and those that care for them, to work with their health care provider to use the six priority GIP messages, including having a written asthma action plan, to help them control their asthma. AAFA also coordinated its media outreach with its local chapters and with other NACI projects to further the reach of these guidelines-based messages.


AAFA participated on an expert panel for the NAEPP's webinar on asthma and physical activity in school and highlighted relevant resources available on the AAFA Web site.

AAFA published several quarterly newsletter articles that featured the NAEPP's six GIP priority messages and asthma control tips from the NACI Patients, Families, and Caregivers Web page.

AAFA worked collaboratively with the NAEPP to include its Student Asthma Action Card among several sample asthma action plans in the NHLBI's revised Asthma and Physical Activity in the School.


AAFA shared and collaborated with other NACI-funded projects to improve asthma care and control. For example:

AAFA provided a media opportunity for NACI-funded projects with the release of its annual Asthma Capitals™, which ranks the worst metropolitan areas for asthma. Several NACI-funded projects, including the National Asthma Campaign Foundation, National Medical Association, and Medical Society of Virginia Foundation, successfully leveraged this information to promote GIP priority messages through local press stories, e-newsletters, and social media channels.

To meet its project goals, AAFA used evidence-based provider education and outreach to patients and the public.

Other NACI-funded projects that used MDCH-type approaches are:

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Last Updated January 2013.