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Asthma Control Program

The New Mexico Asthma Control Program (NMACP) resides in the New Mexico Department of Health in the Environmental Health Epidemiology Bureau. The NMACP is funded by a 5-year (2019-2024) cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health to develop strategies together with communities and health systems to improve and expand the reach of comprehensive asthma control services.

The NMACP works closely with the New Mexico Council on Asthma (NMCOA), which is a coalition of organizations and advocates sharing a vested interest in reducing the asthma disease burden in New Mexico. Its five-year strategic plan, Clearing the Air – Reducing the Burden of Asthma in New Mexico 2021-2025, serves as a guide to asthma stakeholders as they work toward improving asthma outcomes in the state.

Exhale

Asthma interventions implemented by the NMACP and NMCOA incorporate six strategies known as EXHALE. The CDC Exhale Technical package was developed by the CDC and represents a group of strategies, which, based on the best available evidence, can improve asthma control and reduce health care costs. It is intended as a resource to inform decision-making in communities, organizations, and states. EXHALE helps focus and organize public health response to asthma and guide decision-making around asthma control initiatives and efforts to reduce the overall burden of disease.


Promote

Promote data and resource sharing, communication, and evaluation of comprehensive asthma control services.

  • Work with key stakeholders to enhance statewide asthma surveillance systems and expand comprehensive asthma control services.
  • Share newest asthma data through presentations, publications, face-to-face community engagement, the internet and other media platforms.
  • Evaluate program and partner activities for continuous improvement.

Develop

Develop & strengthen Health Services Strategies to improve access to comprehensive asthma control services.

  • Provide asthma self-management education services to children and their families at clinics.
  • Engage Spanish-speaking parents of children with asthma to learn about their barriers in accessing asthma care.
  • Work with the New Mexico Council on Asthma (NMCOA) to inform stakeholders about guidelines-based care and evidence-based policies for schools.

Support

Support Health Systems Strategies statewide to improve asthma care and coverage of comprehensive asthma services.

  • Partner with university programs to develop evidence-based quality improvement interventions to help guide and support health care providers and staff at their health care practices.
  • Partner with non-profits and state programs in developing effective, culturally responsive training programs for CHWs as they work with asthma patients in their homes.
  • Partner with School-Based Health Center (SBHC) managers to develop a school based asthma care model centered on the National Asthma Guidelines’ best practices to be used at SBHCs to improve care coordination for children with asthma.
  • Partner with health care systems and service providers to improve coordination of care and provide payer coverage for comprehensive asthma control services.

Resources for Individuals and Families with Asthma

What is Asthma

Asthma is:

  • A chronic disease that causes swelling in the airways in the lungs.

  • The airways carry air in and out of the lungs.

  • When people have asthma, their airways are inflamed and sensitive, which causes them to swell and become clogged with mucus.

  • When the airways are inflamed, the muscles that are wrapped around them squeeze or spasm. This is called bronchospasm. Bronchospasm makes the airways tighten, which causes asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness.

  • There is no cure for asthma and even though symptoms can come and go, once one has a developed asthma, one will always have asthma.

  • Asthma can be controlled by taking the right medications and implementing environmental trigger avoidance strategies

  • Additional Asthma resources

Asthma Medications

  • Two types: Controller (maintenance) and Reliever (rescue)

  • Controller medications are taken every day, even when there are no symptoms. They reduce inflammation and overproduction of mucus in the airways. They prevent asthma symptoms over time. Most controller medications take about 6 weeks to start working well.

  • Reliever medications work quickly (in 5-15 minutes) and are only used as needed. They relax the muscles around the airways and temporarily relieve asthma symptoms.

  • The most common way to take both controller and reliever medications is through a device called an inhaler. There are several types of inhalers, but a metered dose inhaler (MDI) should always be used with a valved-holding to ensure higher medication delivery to the lungs.

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Environmental Triggers

A number of environmental factors can trigger asthma attacks. Exposure to these triggers can increase inflammation inside the airways and cause bronchospasm. This can lead to asthma attacks. Staying away from the things that make your asthma worse is a large part of managing asthma and reducing symptoms. Please see the links below for more information on asthma triggers and ways to avoid them.

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Healthy Homes for Families with Asthma

This This video was created to be used by Community Health Workers and Community Health Representatives as they work with asthma patients and families to more effectively control asthma symptoms and reduce environmental asthma triggers in the home.Healthy Homes for Families with Asthma Video was created to be used by Community Health Workers/Community Health Representatives (CHW/CHR) as they work with asthma patients and families to more effectively control asthma symptoms and reduce environmental asthma triggers in the home. It addresses the Seven Principles of Healthy Homes from the National Center for Healthy Housing and discusses asthma action plans and medication devices to better control asthma.


Asthma in Hispanic Children

The Asthma Control Program partnered with Nuestra Salud to implement a series of community meetings to increase understanding about asthma care and control among Spanish speaking Hispanic families who have children with asthma, using the photovoice method.The Asthma Control Program partnered with Nuestra Salud to implement a series of community meetings to increase understanding about asthma care and control among Spanish speaking Hispanic families who have children with asthma, using the photovoice method.


External Resources

The Community Guide: Evidence Based Approach

Centers for Disease Control

Environmental Protection Agency

National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute

University of New Mexico

Associations


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