Maryland Asthma Control Program

Asthma is a life threatening, chronic inflammatory disease of the airway that affects an individual's ability to breath. Asthma can be managed but not cured.

Mission and Goals

The Maryland Asthma Control Program seeks to prevent asthma and maximize the heath and well being of children, adolescents, and adults living with asthma. The Program's goals are:
  • To decrease the prevalence of asthma and the occurrence of its complications in Maryland through education, outreach and surveillance; and
  • To decrease the disparity in health outcomes related to asthma by ensuring that all persons with asthma receive appropriate culturally competent, community-based care and services.

Background

In October 2001, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Family Health Administration, Center for Maternal and Child Health received a three-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the development of an infrastructure to address asthma, a surveillance system and an asthma control plan. In 2002, the Maryland Legislature passed Health General Article 13-1701 through 13-1706, Annotated Code of Maryland, which established the Maryland Asthma Control Program in statute. The statute mandates that DHMH assume responsibility for developing a statewide asthma surveillance system, a statewide asthma control plan, and the implementation of asthma control interventions in collaboration with asthma.
 
The Maryland Asthma Control Plan: An Action Agenda to Reduce the Burden of Asthma in Maryland, 2010-2015 (Action Agenda) serves as Maryland's Asthma Control Plan through 2015.
The Action Agenda reflects the MACP's desire to move toward action oriented program development and outcomes-focused public health efforts to address asthma. Section One highlights data/surveillance updates. Sections Two and Three describe progress toward meeting the objectives of the 2004 Plan as well as the process used to develop the Action Agenda. Finally, Section Four includes a set of revised and expanded goals, objectives, and strategies to address asthma from a public health perspective The Action Agenda provides a comprehensive framework for local and statewide action to address asthma. It offers a unified vision and sets the direction for asthma.
The State's first Maryland Asthma Plan, which was completed in April 2004. The Task Force consisted of representatives from selected health care professions, asthma advocacy organizations, asthma coalitions, family members and persons with asthma, state agencies, local health departments, and other public and community organizations.
 
After completion of the Maryland Asthma Plan, the Task Force was dissolved, and the statewide Maryland Asthma Coalition was formed to assist in overseeing Plan implementation. The Greater Baltimore Asthma Alliance also supports the work of the Maryland Asthma Coalition and increases the awareness and knowledge about asthma and available asthma resources within the Baltimore area.
 
To address the burden of asthma in schools, the Maryland Asthma Control Program, in partnerships with the Maryland State Department of Education have implemented the Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative (AFSI) project. The AFS supports the health and academic success of students through maximizing asthma management and reducing environmental asthma triggers in the school environment.
 
The Maryland Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and DHMH, following the NIH-NHLBI's "Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma" recommends that all asthma patients use an Asthma Action Plan for proper asthma management. Asthma Action Plans are a communication tool and a key component of a comprehensive education program for asthma management. The Asthma Action Plan includes information related to treatment regimes and patient self-management.
 
MACP completed the State's first Asthma Surveillance Report in 2002. Subsequently, annual surveillance reports, factsheets and issue briefs have been issued.
Update!
The Maryland Asthma Control Program is pleased to announce the release of Maryland's eighth comprehensive asthma surveillance report, Asthma in Maryland, 2011 . The report presents the most current information available on asthma prevalence and risk factors, health care utilization, and asthma mortality . The information contained in this report can help to identify populations and areas of the State with the greatest need for asthma resources. We hope that you will use this information to assist in guiding the implementation and evaluation of asthma initiatives in your area. 
 
Every year thousands of youth athletes suffer with asthma while participating in athletic events, and you, as a coach, referee or physical education teacher can help. The Winning with Asthma: Coach's Asthma Clipboard Program was created to help those involved in youth sports learn more about asthma, how it affects a student athlete's ability to compete, and how to help manage an athlete’s symptoms.

Additional Resources:

Contact information:
Rachel M. Hess-Mutinda, M.S.W
Asthma Program Administrator
Environmental Health Bureau
Prevention and Health Promotion Administration
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
201 West Preston Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
410.767.2196
Updated: 10/2013