On May 3, 2022 – World Asthma Day – the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is launching our Health Equity Advancement and Leadership (HEAL) program. The purpose of HEAL is to address findings from our Asthma Disparities in America report. The HEAL program reinforces AAFA’s commitment to drastically reduce health disparities in communities that bear the heaviest burden of asthma.
Health Disparities and Health Equity
Health disparities happen when a health condition, like asthma or allergies, affects one group of people differently than another group. Health disparities not only have an impact on affected groups but also limit the overall quality of health care for the entire population.
Health equity is the state in which everyone has a fair and just opportunity to reach their highest level of health. Our HEAL program aims to promote health equity and reduce asthma disparities in the United States. It is a core value and mission-critical priority for AAFA.
As part of AAFA’s HEAL program, AAFA is announcing HEAL Innovation. It is a multiyear project with the goal of building and supporting community-based interventions to address inequities in asthma.
Each year, HEAL Innovation will award funding and resources to four local pilot programs tailored to at-risk populations most impacted by asthma. The first year of HEAL Innovation will run through mid-2023.
In this first year, AAFA is funding programs in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and St. Louis. The focus of these four pilot programs will be on adults and teens with asthma.
The overall goal of HEAL Innovation is to reduce asthma deaths and hospitalizations among high-risk populations by partnering with and strengthening local community programs. Because all asthma is local, AAFA recognizes the importance of combining national leadership with community-driven action.
In Detroit, for example, AAFA is partnering with the AAFA Michigan Chapter to conduct a multi-component intervention. This intervention will improve asthma control through general health and wellness, access to specialty care, assessment of home environments, and asthma self-management education.
The first year of HEAL Innovation is supported by a $1 million sponsorship from Amgen.
How Can You Help Us Achieve Health Equity?
The best way to achieve health equity is by working together. Everyone – from people with asthma to policy makers and the health care industry – can be a part of building programs that make a lasting difference for people, families, and communities impacted by asthma.
Sign up for AAFA’s community to stay up to date about the following opportunities to get involved:
- Advocate for people affected by asthma disparities
- Participate in patient-centered research and clinical trials
- Join our Patient and Family Advisory Council
You can also donate to support AAFA’s mission to create real and lasting change.
1. Health Equity. (2022). Washington State Department of Health. https://doh.wa.gov/community-a...onment/health-equity