The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, operating as the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF, www.neefusa.org), is a private, nonprofit organization chartered by Congress in 1990 and dedicated to advancing environmental literacy in its many forms. NEEF builds effective public-private partnerships that advance environmental education and engagement in the United States. We focus our efforts on making the environment accessible, relatable, relevant, and connected to the daily lives of all Americans to inspire empathy and connection to the natural world. Our programs and initiatives reach beyond traditional green groups with non-partisan, practical, and positive messaging that resonates with the public and motivates environmentally responsible action.
Environmental factors can adversely affect people’s physical and mental health and significantly impact disease burden. Practitioners, patients, and caregivers need specialized education on environmental health issues to identify, prevent, manage, and treat diseases that are exacerbated by environmental exposures. The absence of such key information and access to resources bring about lost economic productivity, exorbitant healthcare costs, and lowered life expectancy credited to chronic diseases such as asthma, a potentially fatal condition that is currently impacting millions of Americans. For years NEEF has responded to this very issue reaching thousands of Americans through its Pediatric Asthma Initiative.
The purpose of this proposal is to support progress toward expanding the reach, quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of asthma control services by promoting CDC’s CCARE (Controlling Childhood Asthma Reducing Emergencies) goal of preventing half a million hospitalizations and emergency department visits. NEEF’s approach will result in increased visibility and uptake of the CDC’s six evidence-based strategies based on the technical package known as EXHALE to achieve the CCARE goal. Through program integration and expansion of the EXHALE technical package, engaging trusted influencers, and monitoring meaningful measurement, NEEF’s Pediatric Asthma Initiative will: 1) increase the number of healthcare providers, health professionals, practitioners, children with asthma and their parents or caregivers receiving communication and education messages regarding CCARE and EXHALE; 2) establish partnerships and collaborate with national partners, asthma programs, NGOs, and CDC; and 3) create opportunities to scale implementation of EXHALE interventions improving access to strategies that will accelerate progress in reaching the most vulnerable communities and underserved populations.
NEEF’s achievement of these strategies will lead to the following outcomes: 1) increased equitable implementation of EXHALE interventions; 2) established partnerships for disseminating messages and sharing in decision-making; and 3) increased awareness and collective implementation of the EXHALE technical package. Based on program activity over the past 3 years and the strategic plan presented in this proposal, NEEF estimates disseminating CCARE and EXHALE messages to 45,000 healthcare providers, practitioners, decision makers, children with asthma, and their families.