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American School Health Association

"ASHA's NACI project aims to improve monitoring of students with asthma and help them manage their asthma appropriately at school."

Stephen Conley, Ph.D., Former Executive Director, American School Health Association (Bethesda, MD)

Stephen Conley, Ph.D., Executive Director, American School Health Association

Stephen Conley, Ph.D., Former Executive Director, American School Health Association promotes coordinated efforts among clinicians, school nurses, and student caregivers to control asthma.

Project Snapshot

The American School Health Association (ASHA) helps school nurses, physical educators, coaches, athletic trainers, school health coordinators, and other school-based personnel from across the United States to create "asthma-friendly" learning environments for students who have asthma. ASHA undertook the production, implementation, and evaluation of a series of webinars on asthma management. Through these webinars, and a dedicated online Asthma Resource Portal, ASHA worked to increase the number of school-based personnel who could assist students and their families to keep asthma in control. The project also aimed to help school-based personnel identify quickly, and respond appropriately to, asthma episodes in schools.

ASHA's first NACI webinar—Asthma Control: Are You Doing YOUR Part? An Update for School Nurses in School-based Asthma Management—educated school nurses on the role of evidence-based asthma guidelines, advances in school-based asthma management, and techniques for overcoming barriers to controlling asthma in the school setting. One of the three presenters, Lani S. M. Wheeler, M.D., discussed the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program's (NAEPP) six priority messages for putting asthma guidelines into practice and how school nurses can apply each message in the school setting.

ASHA's follow-up NACI webinar—Asthma Control Part 2: Asthma Action Plans for School Nurse—focused on how to implement and evaluate student asthma action plans. It included a link to the NAEPP's Is the Asthma Action Plan Working? A Tool for School Nurse Assessment, which helps school nurses identify signs that that a student's asthma is not well controlled. It also links to an updated version of the NAEPP's Management of Asthma Exacerbations: School Treatment Suggested Emergency Nursing Protocol for Students with Asthma Who Don't Have a Personal Asthma Action Plan.

In addition to its online asthma management series, ASHA developed an Asthma Resource Portal with links to trainings, tools, and materials that support the management of asthma in school settings. The portal also provides information about related asthma training programs, ASHA's "GIP Messages for Schools" tip sheet, and links to additional NAEPP resources for schools.

Project Goals

  1. Reduce asthma episodes in schools.
  2. Increase the number of school-based personnel who can recognize the early signs and symptoms of an asthma episode and respond appropriately given their level of training and role.
  3. Improve the monitoring of students who have asthma and help them manage their asthma appropriately.

Dr. Lani S. M. Wheeler, Pediatric Asthma Specialist, was a presenter in ASHA's asthma webinars for school nurses.

Challenges & Solutions

Challenge: Respond to demand for school asthma management education. Promoted primarily to school nurses, interest in ASHA's first NACI webinar was extraordinary: 960 individuals pre-registered for the webinar and 558 of them attended the live session. Participant response was also enthusiastic. Thirty minutes after the scheduled end of the webinar, 300 participants remained for an additional 30 minutes to hear speakers' responses to some of the nearly 100 questions submitted during the program.

Solution: Archive webinar online and expand educational offerings. To provide an asynchronous learning opportunity for those individuals unable to attend the live continuing education program, ASHA posted the webinar on the ASHA Web site, including each presenter's slides and additional resources used in the webinar. In addition, the overwhelmingly positive response to the initial webinar prompted ASHA to plan and conduct a second webinar for school nurses focused on asthma action plans.


ASHA's two asthma management webinars for school nurses reached more than 500 participants each.

ASHA's Asthma Resource Portal received nearly 800 unique page hits (the number of individual visitors who viewed the Web page) during the project's last quarter, up from 111 unique hits in the previous quarter.


ASHA shared and collaborated with other NACI-funded projects to advance asthma care best practices. For example:

ASHA linked to all other NACI Strategic Partner organizations on its Asthma Resource Portal.

ASHA collaborated with several NACI projects and other asthma stakeholder organizations to form a working group to address asthma disparities in the Central Appalachian region.

ASHA used online training and promoted asthma action plans to help meet its project goals.

Other NACI-funded projects using ASHA-type approaches are:

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Last Updated February 2015