Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: Maine
AH! Asthma Health Program
Julie Osgood, MS
The MaineHealth AH! Asthma Health Program was implemented in 1998 to respond to the growing asthma epidemic in Maine. The AH! Program is a systematic, coordinated approach to asthma care that involves community asthma specialists, healthcare providers, school nurses and coaches, day care providers, and others to improve the health of children and adults with asthma. The goals of the program fall under four major categories: 1) awareness; 2) professional education and awareness; 3) community interventions; 4) and policy.
The main component of the program is asthma education. Community asthma specialists provide inpatient and outpatient asthma education services to children and adults. They also educate the community at community fairs/events, providers at physician office practices, and pharmacists and school nurses.
The program has improved the following health outcomes: hospital utilization, emergency department visits, school absences, work loss, medication use, change in clinical actions, functional status, and self-management skills.
The program attributes its success to being involved at all levels within the community, the community asthma specialists get involved in the community, and the support from its physician champions.
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