The goal of this program is to improve asthma care for school children in urban and rural areas of Colorado. This program was initiated in January 2006 and funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Program.

Asthma control can be achieved by incorporating programs to monitor disease activity, establishing environmental control measures, and encouraging medication adherence including appropriate pre-treatment before physical activity. Asthma education is an integral part of asthma management. Therefore, it is important to educate children about appropriate asthma care, to oversee their asthma management, and to assist caretakers, school nurses and teachers in creating an asthma friendly environment. The aim of our program is to address these key areas and thereby minimize the impact of asthma on school performance, especially by focusing on those students with uncontrolled asthma.

The expected benefit of our program is to improve quality of life and increase school attendance in children who participate in our asthma program. Additional benefits of the program include improved asthma surveillance in the schools, free asthma education for children and their families, free lung testing and interpretation by asthma specialists, improved asthma management at school, asthma educational opportunities for school nurses and ancillary staff, and access to Asthma Counselors who will assist the children and their families in asthma management to obtain health services.

Our experience is based on introducing our program to 21 schools in the Denver Public School (DPS) System. It is currently known that from the 70,000 students enrolled in the DPS system, 3,492 reported having asthma in the last school year with 1,720 students in elementary schools, 899 in middle schools and 738 in high schools.

Learn more about the DPS Asthma Program.