State Health Department Provides 23,000 Health Care Providers with New Asthma Toolkit

Toolkit Promotes National Recommendations to Better Manage Asthma

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 17, 2009) – To combat the ongoing asthma epidemic in New York State, the State Department of Health (DOH) recently developed and distributed a New York State Asthma Guideline Toolkit to support 23,000 primary care providers and asthma specialists in understanding updated national asthma recommendations and translating these recommendations into their practices.

"With Governor Paterson's support, New York State continues to lead the way in promoting prevention and proper management of chronic diseases," said State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. "Our newly developed Asthma Guideline Toolkit, created with extensive input from health care experts across New York, is endorsed by all of the major health insurers operating in the State, allowing physicians to rely on a single guideline for their practices. This will ensure that the appropriate asthma care is delivered to patients at the right time and in the proper health care setting."

Asthma, a controllable chronic disease, is a significant public health problem in New York State. More than 1.1 million adults and 370,000 children living in New York have asthma. While New York's comprehensive asthma programs have contributed to a 23 percent reduction in asthma hospitalization over the past decade, its hospitalization rates are higher for all age groups with the exception of New Yorkers 65 years old and older.

To ensure that New Yorkers who have asthma get the care they need, a toolkit was created to serve as a resource for primary care providers to reference in their daily asthma practice. The New York State Asthma Guideline Toolkit is based on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma – 2000.

The New York State Consensus Asthma Guideline Expert Panel developed the toolkit's booklet. The expert panel includes practicing pulmonologists and allergists, representatives from health plans, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the American Lung Association of New York, and other professional organizations. Additionally, the toolkit's DVD was created by Mamta Reddy, M.D., Chief of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, NY.

The New York State Asthma Guideline Toolkit has been endorsed by a number of key trade organizations and boards representing physician specialties. To support the development and distribution of the toolkit, $80,000 in state funds and $25,000 from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were used.

An electronic version of the toolkit's booklet is posted online at: http://www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/asthma/pdf/2009_asthma_guidelines.pdf.

The DVD is currently posted online at http://jeny.ipro.org/files/Asthma/ and will be accessible for two years so that health care providers may use it for distance learning opportunities.

To learn more about preventing and managing asthma, please visit http://www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/asthma/.