New Englanders May Breathe Easier Thanks to Asthma Coalition

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.

Key Results

  • 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.