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EPA Honors Award-Winning Asthma Programs

Contact Information: 
Tricia Lynn (
(202) 564-2615

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) marks the start of Asthma Awareness Month by honoring leading asthma programs from across the country for their efforts to improve the lives of people with asthma in underserved communities. The National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management is the highest recognition EPA bestows on a program and its leaders for delivering excellent environmental asthma management as part of their comprehensive asthma care services.

“Congratulations to these award-winning programs for their outstanding efforts,” said EPA Acting Deputy Administrator Mike Flynn. “Thank you for helping to alleviate the burden of asthma borne by more than 24 million Americans, including more than 6 million children.”

This year’s winners are:

Healthcare Service Corporation, Chicago, Illinois - Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the nation’s largest customer-owned health insurer, in partnership with community-based organizations, provides in-home environmental assessments to families in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. As a result, HCSC claims data showed a reduction in hospitalizations and emergency department (ED) visits that directly correlates to an increase in cost savings.

The Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, Virginia - The YoU Can Control Asthma Now (UCAN) community asthma program at VCU uses a family-focused case-management approach that includes the management of environmental asthma triggers. This program has strong ties to the community through coordination with two asthma coalitions, local schools and community centers. The UCAN community asthma program has saved an average of $691 per patient from decreased hospitalization and emergency department visits. 

Esperanza Community Housing Corporation, Los Angeles, California - Esperanza Community Housing Corporation is a national leader in advancing the Promotores de Salud (Community Health Promoters) model that trains local residents to provide culturally appropriate asthma education and home-based environmental interventions. Esperanza’s program puts trusted community members into leadership positions—an approach that has translated into an increase in participation in the program, a significant decrease in asthma emergency visits and an increase in cost savings. 

Asthma is an enormous challenge for medical and public health communities, and has a substantial impact on the economy in terms of direct medical costs, as well as lost productivity amounting to more than $56 billion annually. Many environmental asthma triggers can be found indoors, where most Americans spend about 90% of their time. By equipping health insurance, housing, and environmental programs with the necessary support, EPA is focused on making environmental asthma intervention in homes a critical component of comprehensive care.

To learn more about EPA’s asthma efforts and the winners of the 2017 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management: