From 2002 to 2003, staff from the Asthma Regional Council of New England developed both new programming and a fundraising plan to address environmental causes of asthma.
The council, an arm of The Medical Foundation, is a coalition of federal, state and private agency leaders concerned about environmental contributors to asthma.
The council identified five top priority project areas:
- Encouraging use of "green" design in housing rehabilitation projects.
- Building a robust asthma trigger surveillance system across New England.
- Reducing diesel emissions by discouraging school buses from idling.
- Developing guidance for building "healthy" schools in ways that keep the indoor air clean.
- Convincing insurers to pay for the cost of removing asthma triggers from the homes of asthma patients.
The council raised almost $1.2 million in grants and contracts, primarily from federal sources.
The council began to use the new funding to:
- Promote "green" design in housing and schools for people at risk of asthma.
- Encourage the reduction of school bus diesel emissions that trigger asthma.
- Create a regional asthma surveillance system.
- Persuade public and private health insurers to pay for removal of known asthma triggers in homes of asthma patients.