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Spring, 2011

NACI Partner Profile

Communication from Someone You Trust is Key to Educating Physicians on Asthma Care

Poor communication frustrates clinicians and patients alike—and can lead to poor asthma outcomes. Whether you are a physician or a patient, learning about asthma from someone you trust makes all the difference.

That understanding is the basis of the Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE) program, developed by the University of Michigan Center for Managing Chronic Disease (CMCD), a NACI Strategic Partner.


“The focus of PACE is peer training ??physicians training physicians,” said Gillian Mayman, CMCD's Communications Coordinator. “This is very important because they trust one another.”

PACE has proven to be effective in improving asthma care and control by opening the channels of communication between physicians and patients, by building physicians' knowledge and skills in:

  • Employing the best current asthma therapies;
  • Communicating more effectively with patients, in the same amount of time; and
  • Supporting patients' efforts to manage their asthma according to clinical guidance.

An update of the PACE program will soon be released. Sign up now to join the PACE webinar on Wednesday, April 27  (1:00–2:00 p.m. EDT), and be among the first to learn how you and your colleagues can put PACE into action. PACE includes updated strategies and tools, coding and reimbursement tips, and insights into six priority Guidelines Implementation Panel (GIP) messages from the clinical guidelines that are essential for quality asthma care.

The original PACE trials, supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and conducted by CMCD and New York’s Columbia University, focused on pediatricians and their patients. They showed that PACE resulted in significantly better asthma care and control for children, even though PACE-trained physicians spent no more time with their patients than other physicians did. Moreover, parents reported greater satisfaction with physician performance.

A 2-year, NACI-funded Strategic Partnership has allowed for further improvements to the PACE program, with the aim of helping many more health care providers bridge the gap between current knowledge and practice. 

“We’re making sure that the GIP messaging is highlighted in the PACE program,” said Ms. Mayman. “The GIP messages were already woven throughout the curriculum, but subtly; now they stand out clearly.”

As you may know, the six GIP messages are:

One of the original researchers on the PACE program, Michael Cabana, M.D., M.P.H., now with the University of California, San Francisco, and a NACI Demonstration Project Investigator, also is using all six GIP messages in materials specifically geared toward minority and underserved children.

Dr. Michael CabanaDr. Michael Cabana, University of California, San Francisco

“In San Francisco, one of every three residents was born in another country, thereby creating a large and diverse immigrant population,” said Dr. Cabana. “The NACI has offered us a way to better reach these populations by first evaluating how effective the PACE curriculum is when it comes to helping primary care providers counsel minority and underserved families; second, assessing what type—if any—of additional PACE curriculum materials are needed to help in this outreach; and third, developing and disseminating these new materials.”

When asked to reveal one of the lessons to date, Dr. Cabana said: “Be humble about your own culture and how you approach asthma, and always make sure to ask about underlying health beliefs.”

Dr. Cabana and former colleague Dr. Noreen M. Clark, CMCD’s Director, will reunite for the PACE webinar on April 27 to offer an overview of the program—and their own NACI projects


Last Updated April 2011

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