Allies Coalitions

The Alianza Contra el Asma Pediátrica en Puerto Rico (ALIANZA)


Coalition Overview

The Alianza Contra el Asma Pediátrica en Puerto Rico (ALIANZA) in San Juan, PR was a coalition centered around the Luis Lloréns Torres Residential Project, the largest low-cost housing project in the U.S. and the Caribbean.  Located in the heart of San Juan, the 83-acre project houses over 8800 people, about 600 of them identified as children with asthma.

The ALIANZA was formed in response to the Allies Against Asthma request for proposals (RFP) and developed with collaboration between RAND and key stakeholders in Puerto Rico. Prior to the RFP there was little experience with collaborative work in San Juan, and asthma efforts were limited to a few programs conducted by the American Lung Association. Allies funding enabled the formation of the community-based coalition and the development of a comprehensive plan to address asthma.

The ALIANZA's objectives focused on four strategic areas: empowering children with asthma and their families/caregivers; increasing community awareness and knowledge about asthma; improving access, quality, and financing of asthma health care services; and improving collaboration between the health care system, schools, child care centers and other private and public community agencies.

Many of the efforts of ALIANZA are continuing with support from the Merck Company Foundation's Merck Childhood Asthma Network project.

Key Alianza Activities and Downloadable Products

Materials about ALIANZA:

 Map of community action plan (.ppt)
 Alianza brochure (Spanish) (.pdf)

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With health care providers:

Physican Asthma Care Education (PACE): improved physician skills for treating patients with asthma

Clinical Care Coordination Program:  adapted from the local managed care asthma disease management program, the improved program linked nurse coordinators, community health workers and clinicians to assess, refer and follow up with patients and families

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In the home:

Community Health Worker (CHW) Program: residents of Llorens received CHW training and education in asthma basics, medications, and equipment as well as information about and services available to people with asthma.  CHWs helped identify families with asthma, link families to the Clinical Care Coordinator, and provide follow up support for enrolled families

 Puerto Rico Childhood Asthma Survey (.doc)/  Spanish version (.doc) 

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In the school & childcare centers:

Training for schools and Head Start personnel: conducted by the American Lung Association and using Open Airways and A is for Asthma programs, staff were taught asthma basics, emergency procedures and self-management skills for children with asthma

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In the community and clinic:

Community-wide health fairs, promotional and educational activities: in conjunction with community partners, community-based activities helped raise asthma awareness and increase asthma knowledge within the general public 

  Set of 7 educational posters (.zip of .pub files, 1 MB)

Parent Organization, Social Services Assistance and Referrals: provided education to empower parents and inform families of rights and responsibilities as well as offer aid to families in challenging social circumstances

 3 editions of Herramientas de Salud newsletter (.zip, 1 MB) 

Asthma Education for Families at Local Clinics: all families registered with the Clinical Care Coordination program received an evaluation of the asthmatic child and several educational sessions and home visits from community health workers

 Asthma action plan (Spanish) (.doc)

Other ALIANZA activities and products:

Expanding Insurance Coverage: in cooperation with the local managed care organization, all patients in the ALIANZA community received expanded insurance benefits to ensure coverage of all emergency and preventive asthma medications and equipment, and coverage of specialty referrals

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   Coalition Overview

   Key Activities and Products

Materials about ALIANZA

With health care providers

In the home

In schools & childcare centers

In the community and clinic

Other ALIANZA activities and products


   Contact ALIANZA:

Marielena Lara, MD, MPH
Project Director