Roles of the State Asthma Program in Implementing Multicomponent, School-Based Asthma Interventions
Asthma is a leading chronic childhood disease in the United States and a major contributor to school absenteeism. Evidence suggests that multicomponent, school-based asthma interventions are a strategic way to address asthma among school-aged children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages the 36 health departments (34 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico) in the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) to implement multicomponent, school-based asthma interventions on a larger scale. To gain a better understanding of replicable best practices for state-coordinated asthma interventions in schools, an NACP evaluation team conducted evaluability assessments of promising interventions run by state asthma programs in Louisiana, Indiana, and Utah. The team found that state asthma programs play a critical role in implementing school-based asthma interventions due to their ability to (1) use statewide surveillance data to identify asthma trends and address disparities; (2) facilitate connections between schools, school systems, and school-related community stakeholders; (3) form state-level connections; (4) translate policies into action; (5) provide resources and public health practice information to schools and school systems; (6) monitor and evaluate implementation. This article presents evaluability assessment findings and illustrates state roles using examples from the 3 participating state asthma programs.