The National Capital Asthma Coalition (NCAC)
The National Capital Asthma Coalition (NCAC) in Washington, DC (formerly known as the DC Asthma Coalition) worked to create a sustainable model for asthma care for the more than 10,000 children and 22,000 adults in DC who suffer from asthma but do not receive appropriate care. NCAC's Demonstration Project focused on children, ages 3 to 12, in five zip codes where pediatric hospital discharges for asthma are high. These areas included a predominantly African-American population located east of the Anacostia River--in the far Southeast area, in the Benning Road area of Northeast, and in the near Anacostia Southeast area; and a diverse Hispanic/Latino population located in the Georgia Avenue-Petworth, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan areas.
NCAC arose from a "coalition of leadership" that formed in response to the Allies Against Asthma request for proposals, thus bringing together for the first time the disparate players working on asthma in DC, including the American Lung Association of DC, Howard University College of Medicine, DC Hospital Association, and the DC Department of Health, among other entities. Since its inception, the coalition's membership expanded to more than 65 diverse health, community, corporate, government, and environmental organizations.
NCAC aimed to reduce hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and school absences and improve quality of life for children who have asthma and their families through three primary activities:
- a multidisciplinary Collaborative Case Management Demonstration Project to produce manageable and affordable intervention protocols for at-risk children and their families and to develop an electronic data-sharing infrastructure that will sustain and enhance the collaborative care process
- educating children, caregivers, professionals, and the community on best practices to manage asthma through workshops, trainings, health fairs, and targeted campaigns
- strengthening organizational collaboration, coordination, resource sharing, and policy. A key objective of NCAC was to demonstrate how existing health and human services resources may be managed more effectively to achieve measurable improvements in health outcomes, while experiencing substantial cost savings and cost controls.
After achieving several key milestones, NCAC ceased operation at the end of 2007. Many of the collaborative initiatives launched by NCAC will continue through NCAC's partners.
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Key NCAC Activities and Downloadable Products
Materials about NCAC:
Community action plan (.doc)
Coalition membership form (.doc)
Fact sheet (.doc)
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With health care providers:
Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE): improved physician skills for treating and communicating with patients with asthma
Collaborative Intervention Demonstration Project: mobilized multidisciplinary teams of health and family support providers to conduct targeted interventions for at-risk children
Frequently asked questions (.doc)
Intervention team training facilitator guide (.doc)
Collaborative news, issues 1-7 (.doc, 1.4 MB)
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In the community and clinic:
Community Educational and Outreach Program: instructed children, caregivers and program staff in the basics of asthma management through workshops and health fairs in a variety of settings
Health fair poster (English/Spanish) (.doc)
In the schools:
Published Managing Asthma and Allergies in DC Schools: A Comprehensive Resource and Education Guide online and in hardcopy and conducted trainings for 182 principals and staff from DC schools and youth-serving agencies.
Coordinated development of policy enacted as the Student_Access_to_Treatment Act of 2007 (PDF: 42 KB/6 pages), a DC law that permits public, charter, private, a parochial school students with a valid medication action plan to possess and self-administer lifesaving asthma or anaphylaxis medications at school, among other key provisions.
Other NCAC activities:
Created a new standard DC Asthma Action Plan form endorsed by the DC Department of Health and available for download in English and Spanish. The form may be filled out by hand or on a computer then printed and saved.
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Lisa A. Gilmore, MSW, MBA
former Executive Director