Tallahassee, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health recognizes May as National Asthma Awareness Month and takes the opportunity to educate Floridians regarding diagnosis and treatment programs committed to improving the lives of those living with asthma.
“When people are able to manage their asthma well, they can live life without interruptions and spend less time out of work or school,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. Celeste Philip. “The department is committed to ensuring that every person with asthma has equitable access to the treatment and care they need to achieve optimal health.”
The department is working with national and statewide partners to make life better for Floridians with asthma and their families. The Florida Asthma Program (FAP) promotes annual influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations for children with asthma six months of age and older to reduce the risk of severe complications and respiratory disease from flu. The FAP implements home- and school-based asthma initiatives that provide self-management education and include referrals to tobacco cessation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asthma affects over 24 million people living in the United States, including more than 6 million children. Asthma is a leading cause of preventable emergency department visits, hospitalizations, school absenteeism and work-related lung disease in Florida. Asthma is more severe among children, women, and those whose household incomes are less than $25,000. The department supports the Florida Asthma Coalition (FAC) in their efforts to reduce asthma disparities, reduce costs of care and improve quality of life.
The FAC offers Asthma-Friendly Recognition opportunities for schools, childcare centers, hospitals and primary care providers. Facilities that earn the recognition are better equipped to support Floridians with asthma. The department applauds those working to ensure students and staff with asthma and allergies are safe during the school and work day.