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EPA Honors New York and Michigan Programs for Serving as National Models for Cutting-Edge Asthma Care

Release Date: 05/01/2008
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 /

News for Release: Thursday, May 1, 2008

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

(Washington, D.C. - May 1, 2008) Kicking off Asthma Awareness Month, EPA 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 EPA's 2008 National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management. The award recognizes innovative approaches these programs use to successfully improve the lives of asthma patients in their communities.

"The Asthma Network of West Michigan, the Monroe Plan, and the University of Michigan Health System's efforts to reduce the burden of asthma in their communities are a breath of fresh air," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Asthma sufferers in these communities will breathe easier thanks to their innovative programs.

The Asthma Network of West Michigan is a community coalition that provides comprehensive home-based care to 94,500 children and adults with asthma in West Michigan. The Monroe Plan for Medical Care, located in the Rochester, N.Y. area, is a managed care organization covering 5,633 children with asthma. The Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan Health System is a non-profit health care provider serving 12,214 adults and children with asthma in Southeastern Michigan.

The 2008 award winners will be recognized at the third annual
Communities in Action for Asthma-Friendly Environments National Asthma Forum in Washington, D.C., on May 1 and 2. Hundreds of representatives from health care plans, health care providers, and community-based asthma programs from across the country will join together at the forum to help one another implement the best approaches for improving the lives of people with asthma.

The National Asthma 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:

Throughout the year, EPA aids communication between community-based asthma programs through the
Communities in Action for Asthma-Friendly Environments (CAAFE) Online Network. The network provides community-based asthma programs a platform for real-time learning that can drive the ongoing improvement of asthma care. To date, there are nearly 250 community programs participating in the Online Network. The CAAFE campaign's goal is to mobilize 1,000 communities to lead the nation in the delivery of quality asthma care by 2010. For more information and to join the Online Network, visit :

Of the approximately 22 million Americans with asthma, more than six million are children. The disease remains one of the leading causes of emergency room visits and school absenteeism for children. Although there is no cure for asthma, there are ways to reduce the number of attacks, including avoiding exposure to environmental asthma triggers at home, school, work, outdoors, and other places where asthma sufferers spend their time.

For more information on EPA's Asthma Program or the 2008 National Asthma Forum, visit: