Asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that impacts children and adults, is one of the major diseases affecting New Mexico adults and children. In 2017, approximately 10.5% of adults and 9.3% of children were reported to currently have asthma. However, there is a dramatic geographic asthma burden disparity. Hospitalization data, Emergency Department data, and Vital Records death data indicate that the burden of asthma is significantly higher in Southeastern New Mexico compared to other regions in the state. In addition to the geographic disparity, there is also a statewide racial/ethnic one. In particular, American Indian/Alaska Natives are more likely to be hospitalized than Non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanics.
Asthma control can be achieved for a vast majority of those with the disease. Ensuring that all people with asthma are empowered to adequately treat and manage their disease requires a collaborative and comprehensive approach between multiple sectors. As part of the New Mexico Department of Health, the New Mexico Asthma Control Program (ACP) serves the entire state of New Mexico, a population of 2,095,428. The ACP strives to be a leader within New Mexico by continuing to engage in strong partnerships across these sectors, and to ensure that attention and resources are devoted in order to expand the reach, quality, effectiveness, and sustainability of asthma control service in order to reduce geographic, socioeconomic, and racial/ethnic asthma disparities in New Mexico.
The evidence-based strategies presented in this grant application aim to be culturally appropriate and promote sustainability of asthma control services. They not only encourage proper asthma care and management at the clinical, household, and individual levels, but also support policy and systems changes that link individuals and families to resources and establish clean indoor air quality as a norm. The ACP has a strong team, diverse partnerships, and established organizational infrastructure that enable us to continue this work to reduce the burden of asthma in New Mexico through focusing on the disparities that we experience in our state.
Since the inception of the ACP in 2000, awareness of the asthma problem in New Mexico has increased considerably and numerous organizations, agencies, and concerned people have been mobilized to work for change. The ACP looks forward to our continued work with our partners and with CDC in order to further reduce the burden of asthma in New Mexico.