N.Y., Michigan Have Cutting-Edge Asthma Programs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing three leading asthma management programs as national models for effective asthma care. The Asthma Network of West Michigan, the Monroe Plan (Rochester, N.Y.), and the University of Michigan Health System have earned the agency's2008 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management.

The Asthma Network is a community coalition that provides comprehensive home-based care to 94,500 children and adults with asthma in West Michigan. The Monroe Plan is a managed care organization covering 5,633 children with asthma. The Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan program is a non-profit health care provider serving 12,214 adults and children with asthma in southeastern Michigan.

The award winners were recognized at the third annual "Communities in Action for Asthma-Friendly Environments National Asthma Forum" in Washington, D.C., on May 1 and 2.

The forum coincides with Asthma Awareness Month in May when groups from across the country join together to increase asthma awareness in their communities. For more information and to view Asthma Awareness Month events and activities from across the nation, visit http://www.epa.gov/asthma/awm/index.html.

More than 6 million American children have asthma. The disease remains one of the leading causes of emergency room visits and school absenteeism. Although no cure exists, there are ways to reduce the number of attacks, including avoiding exposure to environmental asthma triggers at home, school, work, and outdoors.

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