Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Issue Areas

Asthma

Asthma is a major health issue in the United States and across the globeimpacting adults and children, and resulting in acute and severe health threats, missed school and job absenteeism, and an increase in healthcare costs. The Public Health Institute advances strategies to reduce and prevent asthma through a broad and comprehensive approach that includes policy change, clinical management, and environmental protection. Our work brings together diverse partnerssuch as public health and community-based organizations, schools, medical providers, and environmental health and justice groupsto join forces in reducing the burden of asthma, with a focus on communities inequitably affected by the disease. We specialize in promoting health education, as well as building diverse, multi-sector collaboratives to create comprehensive asthma prevention plans.

Our expertise includes:

  • Disease tracking and monitoring: Our experts are available to conduct cutting-edge asthma studies to help inform your work. We specialize in tracking rates of asthma, determining environmental cost and potential return on investment of prevention strategies, and the impact of asthma in specific communities or localities. 
  • Community-based research and solutions: PHI can also work with you to engage community members to define and map community factors that contribute to cumulative exposures, community vulnerability, and resilience. We have extensive experience working with many partners to not only complete research, but develop local public health action plans. 
  • Program management and implementation: PHI staff can help you develop and launch asthma prevention and management programs, with a focus on reaching underserved populations. We also provide communications and social marketing support.
  • Prevention policy development and advocacy: With years of experience developing and advancing successful local and regional asthma prevention policies, PHI experts can work with you to build policy campaigns to improve indoor and outdoor air quality in schools, homes, workplaces and other environments. We specialize in policies that can reduce asthma for high-risk populations, including low-income communities, communities of color, and at-risk occupational communities such as farm workers. 
  • Trainings, consultation, and technical assistance: Our staff is available for trainings and consultation, with a focus on the following topics: asthma and clinical care, creating healthy schools and homes, ensuring improved indoor and outdoor air quality through clean environments, and eliminating inequities. 

HOW CAN WE WORK TOGETHER? SEND US AN EMAIL.


Resources and Tools

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Experts

Paul English

Paul English, PhD, MPH, is state environmental epidemiologist and branch scientific advisor for the Environmental Health Investigations Branch at t...

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Joel Ervice

Joel Ervice is the associate director of Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP), which works to reduce the burden of asthma through clini...

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Anne Kelsey Lamb

Anne Kelsey Lamb, MPH, is the director of Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) and its principal investigator. Serving as director sinc...

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Programs

California Environmental Health Tracking Program

The California Environmental Health Tracking Program emphasizes the development of spatial analysis and visualization methods that enable state-of-...

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California Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program (OHSEP)

OHSEP, a program of the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health, tracks work-related injuries and diseas...

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Cleaner Cookstoves: Building Global Capacity & Improving Public Health

Exposure to smoke from cooking fires and traditional stoves results in nearly 2 million premature deaths each year, predominantly among women and c...

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Regional Asthma Management and Prevention Program

The Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) program is a collaborative that promotes strategies for reducing asthma through a broad and co...

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Survey Research Group

The Survey Research Group (SRG) conducts population based health-related surveys, using one of the country's most technologically advanced call...

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Here's How We're Making a Difference

Advancing Health Equity Through Healthy Housing Policies

In 2015, PHI's Regional Asthma Management & Prevention program (RAMP) played an important role in advocating for two new healthy housing policies passed in California—SB 328 and SB 655—that will reduce exposure to asthma triggers, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color.

In recognition of this work and ongoing efforts in this area, RAMP received the 2016 Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes on behalf of the California Healthy Housing Coalition. The award recognizes excellence in healthy housing innovation and achievement.

This past year, RAMP continued its successful work with California Healthy Housing Coalition partners to improve housing quality. Closing a loophole in legislation RAMP worked to get signed last year (SB 328-Hueso), RAMP co-sponsored and the governor signed AB 2362 (Chu) to ensure tenants are notified of pesticide use, including those living in condominiums and townhomes.

In 2016, RAMP also co-sponsored a bill in California that gives tenants new rights when they discover dangerous mold, which is linked to asthma and other respiratory diseases. Now listed as a condition of substandard housing, tenants can hold landlords accountable if the problem is not fixed. Until the bill passed, tenants had few options if their residence had mold. With the new legislation, renters can now for the first time report mold problems to the city, which can then demand repairs and fine landlords who don't comply.

RAMP has plans to continue advocating for healthier housing in the years to come.

Boosting National Leadership Capacity to Act on Asthma

To share the best practices and learnings from California Healthy Housing Coalition model with other states, RAMP has developed a “National Healthy Housing Learning Community” focused on state–level approaches to healthy housing. This network meets every other month to share experience on coalition building, policy development, and political strategies for healthy housing.

Participants are from Colorado, Nebraska, Montana, Minnesota, Georgia, Rhode Island, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, Ohio, Georgia, and several regional offices of HUD and EPA. Based on member feedback, RAMP also added the National Center for Healthy Housing to provide updates on potential impacts from federal policy changes.

Calculating the Costs of Environmental Health Conditions in California Children

Eliminating exposures to preventable environmental hazards related to four childhood health conditions could save families and the state of California $254 million annually, and prevent losses of $10-13 billion over the lifetime of all children born in a single year, revealed a 2015 report from PHI's California Environmental Health Tracking Program. 

Explore the report and accompanying graphics.