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Local Woman Receives National Award for Helping Kids with Asthma

St. Paul health advocate honored by American Lung Association

(June 24, 2019) - ST. PAUL, Minn.

For more information please contact:

Jill Thompson
[email protected]

On Friday, June 21, St. Paul resident Jill Heins received the American Lung Association’s Innovation Award at an annual awards banquet in Chicago.

Heins, national director of lung health for the Lung Association, received the award for her work on the Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma Program, an initiative to ensure quality health care for children with asthma. The program has been implemented in 400 community health centers in 15 states, and included extensive training for providers and other clinic staff on asthma diagnosis, medications, asthma management plans, ongoing asthma management and patient education. In first three years, the program resulted in a 50 percent reduction in asthma-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations, as well as dramatic improvement in the health of patients.

“The Enhancing Care for Children with Asthma Program brings together all of the influencers in the child’s life to help better manage their asthma for the long term. Programs like this truly show that with technical assistance, training, and time, we can make a difference in the lives of families affected by chronic lung disease,” said Deb Brown, Chief Mission Officer for the Lung Association. “Jill’s work to create and implement this program changed the way that healthcare professionals and parents work together to help make the child’s life better.”

Heins’ work on this program was featured in the Journal of Asthma, and has made an impact on the lives of thousands of children and families nationwide.

The Innovation Award recognizes Lung Association staff teams and volunteers who exemplify the nationwide commitment to bring innovation to the forefront in how we advance the association mission. The key is honoring innovation that increases the Lung Association’s ability to achieve its mission and make an impact on the communities served.   


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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