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Asthma is the single most common chronic condition among children in the United States – currently 7 million children suffer from asthma. It is the leading cause of missed school days and accounts for more than $10 billion in health care expenditures each year.

Now more than ever, we need to work together to find out what works, translate research to effective policy, and replicate promising efforts in communities nation-wide. The Merck Childhood Asthma Network is attempting to do just that, and has partnered with the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and First Focus to establish a new national multi-sector coalition focused  on identifying and promoting effective evidence-based approaches to improving symptom prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management of childhood asthma through federal policy change and targeted state efforts.  The Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition consists of a diverse group of organizations who are leading advocates and experts on childhood asthma, health care, public health, environmental health and housing policy.

Coalition members include: MomsRising, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Lung Association, Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, Trust for America’s Health, Healthy Schools Network, Inc., Children’s Environmental Health Network, National Association of School Nurses, National Association of Asthma Educators, National Medical Association, and Regional Asthma Management and Prevention.

Collaboration and leadership on childhood asthma is especially important at this critical time in Washington when policymakers are making important decisions about the future of federal investments in our nation’s public health and health coverage systems. By establishing a unified and informed voice using credible experts, the Coalition can set a clear vision for policy solutions and develop a practical pathway for achieving desired outcomes.

The Coalition is just getting started with their work and welcome new participants. For additional information, please contact Shadi Houshyar at shadih@firstfocus.net.


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