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Home News Department of Health Recognizes May as National Asthma Month
David Morgan
575-528-5197 Office
575-649-0754 Mobile

Department of Health Recognizes May as National Asthma Month

May 6, 2015 - Asthma - Information

This is a copy of the “Asthma Awareness Month” proclamation for the state of New Mexico dated April 17, 2015. The New Mexico Department of Health recognizes May as National Asthma Awareness Month and takes the opportunity to educate New Mexicans regarding diagnosis and treatment programs committed to improving the lives of those diagnosed with asthma.

In New Mexico, 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 11 children are currently living with asthma, which is one of the leading causes of pediatric hospitalizations and missed days from school. In 2013, New Mexicans made 8,568 visits to non-federal in-state emergency departments for uncontrolled asthma, costing New Mexico Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs an estimated $1.9 million per year. The highest rates of asthma hospitalizations are found in the Southeast and Northwest regions of the state.

Although the exact cause of asthma is unknown and there is currently no cure, asthma can be controlled through coordinated care which combines patient education, medication management, and routine visits to a healthcare provider to assess and monitor asthma severity and control. It is important that people with asthma be aware of environmental factors and other health conditions, such as respiratory infections and allergies, which can worsen asthma symptoms. Identifying and avoiding both indoor and outdoor environmental exposures, such as tobacco smoke, pollens, molds, dust, animal dander, cockroaches, and dust mites, is an important part of comprehensive asthma care.

The New Mexico Department of Health Asthma Control Program recommends that every asthma patient have:

  • Planned asthma visits to a health care provider every 1-6 months, depending on severity.
  • An evaluation of asthma severity and level of control to determine the appropriate treatment choices.
  • An Asthma Action Plan which is reviewed and updated at each visit.
  • Asthma self-management education, which should include information about identifying and avoiding environmental triggers of asthma.

To improve access to quality asthma care for all New Mexicans, the NMDOH Asthma Control Program is developing an Asthma Specialty Track for training and certification of Community Health Workers (CHW) and Community Health Representatives (CHR) in the basics of asthma care. This certification process will be an optional component of the broader training program and certification process for community health workers in New Mexico spearheaded by the NMDOH Office of Community Health Workers. These frontline public health workers are trusted members of the communities they serve and they will work to bridge health and social services, facilitate access to comprehensive asthma care resources, and improve the quality and cultural competence of asthma care statewide. For more information see the Asthma section of our website.

Additionally, Governor Susana Martinez has proclaimed May 2015 as Asthma Awareness Month throughout New Mexico. The Governor’s Asthma Awareness Proclamation is available online.

Media Contact

We would be happy to provide additional information about this press release. Simply contact David Morgan at 575-528-5197 (Office) or 575-649-0754 (Mobile) with your questions.

Versión en Español

En un esfuerzo para hacer que nuestros comunicados de prensa sean más accesibles, también tenemos disponibles una versión en español. Por favor presione el enlace de abajo para acceder a la traducción.

El Departamento de Salud Reconoce Mayo como el Mes Nacional del Asma