AAFA Research and Education Projects

AAFA plans, coordinates, distributes and reviews various national programs. These include advisory meetings, workshops, trainings, webinars, educational materials and continuing education programs for health professionals, school staff, community advocates and patients of all ages, as well as their parents and caregivers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

AAFA received contract awards and funding for many cooperative agreements over several years from the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Division of Adolescent and School Health. This includes:

  • A five-year project to improve asthma care and outcomes called Community Health Interventions to Advance Self-Management of Asthma (CHI-ASMA). Programs will focus on at-risk populations through community health interventions.
  • A five-year complete school-based program. It will educate school staff, teens, parents and community health professionals with asthma using AAFA’s Power Breathing Program.
  • A three-year project to teach school-age children with asthma and their families through the You Can Control Asthma program.
  • A five-year project to train Head Start health service coordinators to teach fellow staff, young children with asthma and their families using the Asthma Basics for Children program.
  • A five-year project to create easy-to-read educational lessons and materials in English and Spanish about asthma for home visitors and childcare providers. Wee Breathers™ teaches families and their preschool age children with asthma.
  • A five-year project called ASTHMA Care to develop an educational program for adults with asthma who don’t receive enough medical care. AAFA developed this educational program in two formats: in-person facilitated curriculum for asthma educators and community health workers to use and an online, self-paced course using multimedia and online technology. The course helps improve self-management and awareness among people with asthma who are at high risk. The facilitated in-person program is available state asthma programs and federally qualified health centers. The free online version is available for adult patients to take at their convenience.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA awarded AAFA several cooperative agreements. These include a 15-year (3 cycle) project. It will teach health professionals about asthma management and environmental control through the Asthma Management Education (AME) onsite and online programs. The online course offers 8.75 contact hours for respiratory therapists and nurses. 

With funding from the EPA, AAFA also embarked on a six-year project to teach childcare providers about asthma management and controlling indoor and outdoor environmental triggers using the Asthma and Allergy Essentials for Childcare Providers program.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

AAFA received a Eugene Washington Engagement Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. This award was for a new project to help asthma patients work with the research community. The project is called “Promoting Asthma Patient Engagement in Research.” It aims to increase the knowledge and skills of asthma patients, families and caregivers. It also aims to prepare them to take part in the design, implementation and evaluation of outcomes research. The project aims to train patients to understand and use the results of research to make health care decisions. The project is part of a group of projects approved for PCORI funding. The purpose of this funding is to help create skilled patients and others in health care and to get them involved in PCORI’s work.

AAFA also received an award from PCORI to build a national platform to match researchers with patient and family member advisors to encourage researchers to invite patients to participate in every step of a research project. This program is called Building a Scalable Infrastructure to Connect (BASIC) Patients and Researchers.

AFFORD (Asthma in Families Facing Out-of-Pocket Requirements with Deductibles) Study: In partnership with the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School, AAFA is evaluating how different types of health insurance plans affect the experiences of people with asthma. AAFA's trained patient advisors and family members serve as advisors on this study funded by PCORI. 

Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly (PEER)

PEER allows patients to share health information with researchers and each other on their own terms. This helps researchers better understand the disease. It also speeds the development of partners for clinical trials. AAFA is one of 15 selected awardees to work with Genetic Alliance. We work with them to develop and refine the "white label" PEER while engaging our communities. PEER allows patients to share health data on their own terms. Patients set their own data sharing, privacy and access preferences. Participants will choose settings that both allow them to help find solutions and keep their privacy. We will invite people with asthma and allergies to participate. PEER will allow AAFA to support the patients, caregivers, clinical experts and researchers in the asthma and allergy communities.    

Consumer-Focused Social Research

AAFA conducts consumer-focused and social research to better understand consumer and patient awareness, knowledge, preferences and behaviors related to asthma and allergy diagnosis, prevention and treatment. AAFA’s research offers unique views on the geographic, demographic and psychographic impact of asthma and allergies in the U.S. Through national studies, AAFA collects, examines and distributes timely and meaningful information about the asthma and allergy community. Recent publications include My Life With Food Allergies: Parent Summary, My Life With Asthma, and More Than Skin Deep.

State Honor Roll

AAFA's State Honor Roll evaluates state laws and ranks the states with the best public policies for people with asthma, food allergies, anaphylaxis and related allergic diseases in U.S. elementary, middle and high schools. 

Asthma Capitals™ and Allergy Capitals™

AAFA's signature reports analyze data from the top 100 metropolitan cities and then ranks the areas that are the most challenging to live in. Our Asthma Capitals report ranks cities based on asthma prevalence, emergency department visits and asthma-related mortality. Our report also evaluates risk factors that contribute to these outcomes. Our Allergy Capitals report ranks cities based on pollen and mold counts, allergy medicine usage and access to board-certified allergists. 

Improving Asthma Outcomes, Lowering Costs

AAFA worked with the Brookings Institute to release Community-Based Approaches for Optimal Asthma Outcomes and Accountable Population Health. It is a paper that looks at how communities and clinics can improve outcomes for patients with asthma and lower health care costs. The AAFA-Brookings paper looks at the social causes of asthma and how we can address them in order to improve health, treatment and lower costs. The report also outlines the great work of the AAFA St. Louis Chapter. 

Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Public Policy

AAFA is co-sponsoring a new National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) consensus study on food allergies. The study, “Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention and Public Policy,” involves stakeholders, including government agencies, academic institutions, industries, policy makers and patient groups. It also brings together leading investigators from relevant fields, clinicians and parents to look at food allergy issues. These issues include the frequency, severity and impact of food allergy. It also includes the current understanding of food allergies in diagnostics, treatments, prevention and public policy. This study will create a basis for raising public awareness about food allergies and recommend the direction of food allergy research. AAFA is part of this IOM project because of our commitment to those affected by the disease.