On Jan. 8, 2020, Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), spoke before members of the U.S. House of Representatives about the need for protections for school children with asthma and food allergies.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing to discuss H.R. 2468, the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act. Mendez gave AAFA’s statement in support of the bill and answered questions from committee members.
"Chairwoman [Anna] Eshoo, Ranking Member Burgess and Members of the Subcommittee: I am Kenneth Mendez, CEO and president of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, or AAFA," Mendez stated during the meeting. "AAFA is the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies, and the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world. Thank you for inviting me to offer testimony in support of H.R. 2468, the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act.
"This bipartisan bill is an important step in promoting health and learning for the 5.5 million American children living with asthma and the nearly 6 million American children with food allergies. Put differently, 1 in 13 children has asthma, and 1 in 13 has food allergies – meaning that every school in the U.S. is likely to have children with these conditions. The bill would create a preference within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s existing asthma grant program for states that require schools to take a series of actions to address asthma and food allergy. AAFA strongly supports this legislation."
H.R. 2468 includes many of the policy recommendations from AAFA’s State Honor Roll for all public elementary and secondary schools. It would encourage states to put into place:
- A method to identify all students with allergies and/or asthma
- Individual student action plans
- Allergy and asthma education for school staff responsible for these students
- A school nurse or other trained staff on site during operating hours
- Efforts to reduce environmental triggers
- A system to support the students
AAFA has been actively advocating for the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act during the past few years. It is our goal to see schools put processes in place to protect students with asthma and allergies.
Tell your legislators to support H.R. 2468 to protect students with asthma and allergies. Use our tool below to send an email letter to your representative. You can also choose to post your message on Facebook or Twitter. Just follow the steps: