Alaska Asthma Coalition
Controlling the Asthma Epidemic in Alaska
Asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases among Alaska's adults and children. Yet, its heavy burden on the economy of Alaska in terms of absenteeism, unnecessary emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths is largely preventable. Based on its work over the past two and a half years, the broad-based Alaska Asthma Coalition has determined that this impact can be significantly reduced with a modest annual investment of $500,000 for an Asthma Control Program within the Alaska Division of Public Health.
WHAT IS ASTHMA? - Asthma is a critical public health issue that has reached epidemic proportions due to its steady increase in prevalence. Asthma causes a narrowing of small airways that result in shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest pain or tightness. Exposure to dust, dust mites, mold, pollen, fur or feathered animals, secondhand smoke, cold weather, flu, exercise, and other respiratory infections can trigger an asthma episode. Asthma affects adults as well as children, and an asthma episode at any age can be fatal.
The Coordinated Response to Asthma in Alaska Program 2012 - 2014
This program seeks to address the economic and quality of life burden that asthma has on the community and individuals living with his serious, common, and costly disease thorough four components: 1) Alaska Asthma Coalition Leadership; 2) State and Local Community Interventions; 3) Health Communication; and 4) Surveillance and Evaluation.
The Alaska Asthma Coalition recently released:
Asthma Data Improvement Recommendations: Final Report 2013
Asthma Data Improvement Recommendations: Final Report Executive Summary
The Alaska Asthma Coalition released a data brief: Asthma in Alaska 2012
Another coalition partner, The Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies created: A Report on the Burden of Asthma in Alaska in 2007.
The Alaska Asthma Plan: A Strategic Plan for Addressing Asthma 2006-2011 is the result of a three-year collaborative effort across the State. The Plan serves as a roadmap to reduce morbidity and mortality of asthma, control the cost of care, and improve the quality of life for Alaskans with Asthma. The coalition revised this plan in 2013: Alaska Asthma Plan 2013 Update
A Valuable Tool for Health Care Providers
The Alaska Interactive Asthma Action Plan: Helping Providers Assist Patients with Better Asthma Control
The newly developed Alaska Interactive Asthma Action Plan (IAAP), a software tool that will enable health care providers to easily diagnose and treat patients according to national best-practice guidelines.
The IAAP was developed by the Minnesota Department of Health Asthma Program and revised by a team of physicians, pharmacists and committee members from the Alaskan Asthma Coalition. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is spreading the word to health care providers. You are welcome to explore this program by down-loading the desk-top version at AAFA Alaska's website: www.aafaAlaska.com The IAAP committee would appreciate any feedback ([email protected]) you have on the program.