Asthma in Florida is a common and costly health condition. Every year, an increasing number of Florida residents suffer the devastating effects of undiagnosed and poorly controlled asthma. Over the past ten years, the Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) Florida Asthma Program (FAP) has developed a strong program infrastructure, including state and local leaders providing management and implementation, a robust asthma surveillance system, comprehensive evaluation approaches, and robust communications channels. Florida’s infrastructure also includes the Florida Asthma Coalition (FAC), a collective of over 400 individuals with a shared vision of ensuring Floridians with asthma, especially those disproportionately impacted, are supported to achieve optimal health. Through FAC’s various Asthma-Friendly Recognition opportunities, child care centers, schools, health care providers, and hospitals are celebrated for their efforts to create healthy and supportive experiences and environments for individuals with asthma and their caregivers.
FDOH will work progressively to address the needs defined above and to maximize reach, impact, quality, efficiency, and sustainability of comprehensive and coordinated asthma education, prevention, and management efforts across Florida. Our approach is to address asthma from every angle; to connect individuals and families dealing with asthma with coordinated asthma services through the collaborative efforts of schools and childcare centers, public health partners, community-based organizations, social service providers, housing authorities, non-profits, hospitals, emergency departments, health care providers, health clinics, pharmacists, and health plans.
FDOH’s proposed strategies and associated activities fall into two categories as defined in the NOFO: Enhancing Program Infrastructure and Leveraging Partnerships to Expand EXHALE.
FDOH will strengthen leadership and program management, mobilize FAC partners to increase delivery of coordinated asthma control services to priority populations, enhance our asthma surveillance system, conduct extensive communication activities, and use findings from program evaluations to guide continuous program improvement, providing a robust foundation for implementation of the EXHALE strategies.
FDOH is poised to continue leveraging partners to support the implementation of activities in each of the six EXHALE strategies during the first year of funding. Strategic planning carried out in the first year will fortify relationships between communities, public health, and health care organizations, setting a sustainable course for the expansion of collaborative implementation of EXHALE activities by statewide partners from various sectors.
The expected outcomes of our proposed strategies align with the CDC National Asthma Control Program’s logic model for “A Comprehensive Public Health Approach to Asthma Control Through Evidence-Based Interventions”: expanded capacity to deliver or refer people with asthma to asthma self-management education (AS-ME) in the school, home, and healthcare settings; expanded access, referral to, and delivery of coordinated services in high burden areas; improved systems that encourage team-based asthma care; increased use of surveillance and evaluation data for program improvement; more people with asthma receiving appropriate medical assessments, essential medications, and devices; established linkages and coordination across public health and health care systems; increased number of organizations earning FAC’s Asthma-Friendly Recognitions; more people with well-controlled asthma, fewer asthma attacks, and fewer missed school or work days; and, fewer asthma-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.