Allies Coalitions

Philadelphia Allies Against Asthma (PAAA)

Coalition Overview

Philadelphia Allies Against Asthma (PAAA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, focused its efforts on reducing asthma-related morbidity in North and West Philadelphia, an area with over 14,000 children with asthma. The coalition's priority area included 14 major neighborhoods in which approximately 75% of the population is African-American, 4% Asian, and 11% Latino; over half of residents live below the poverty line; and a substantial number of children with asthma in the area lack health insurance or a primary care practitioner. PAAA's intervention was a multi-faceted, multi-agency effort designed to provide care coordination, system support, patient and family education, provider education, public awareness and new policy development. By serving as a forum for discussion of key issues, PAAA worked to improve the coordination of a fragmented system of care for children with asthma in Philadelphia.

PAAA was formed in 2000 in response to the Allies Against Asthma request for proposals. Prior to 2000, two coalitions operated in Philadelphia, and it was members from these coalitions as well as other individuals who successfully applied for the grant.

PAAA strived to reduce asthma morbidity through a three-tiered strategy:

  • achieving unity of action/purpose among providers, families and communities, local and state organizations, and managed care and voluntary organizations
  • empowering families and the community by enhancing their capacity to identify children with asthma and actively participate in managing and preventing acute asthma episodes
  • increasing access to care for families without insurance as well as reducing barriers to care related to ethnic and cultural differences and/or low literacy.

The Health Promotion Council, on behalf of PAAA, was awarded support from the Merck Company Foundation to expand and build upon PAAA's efforts in Philadelphia with a four-year initiative titled "The Philadelphia Merck Childhood Asthma Network" project. This project is a collaborative effort designed by key PAAA members using evidenced-based interventions targeting schools, community, care coordination, primary care and providers.

In addition to creating innovative programs and services targeting pediatric asthma, PAAA maintains its community partnerships and alliances with key stakeholders in Philadelphia.

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Key PAAA Activities and Downloadable Products

Materials about PAAA:

  Presentation: Overview of PAAA (.ppt, 1.3 MB)
  PAAA recruitment sheet (.doc)

With health care providers:

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

Primary Care Program: trained physicians and nurses to be asthma champions in their practices and ensured clinic staff are proficient in the clinical management of asthma

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In the Home:

Asthma Safe Kids (ASK) Program: using the national ASK curriculum, outreach workers conducted home visits to provide asthma and trigger remediation education and cleaning supplies

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In the school and childcare centers:

Open Airways for Schools: trained school health personnel, daycare providers, and after-school program staff to conduct Open Airways for Schools, an asthma management program for schools that educates students, parents, and school staff

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In the community and clinic:

Smokeless Homes:  conducted presentations to families about the dangers of smoke pollution in the home and promotes smoking cessation classes in the community

  Smokeless Homes Flyer (.doc) /  Spanish version (.doc)
  Presentation: Smokeless Homes (.ppt, 1.8 MB) /  Spanish version (.ppt, 1.5 MB)
  Set of above 4 Smokeless Homes products (.zip, 3.3 MB)

All About Asthma Workshop: an hour-long presentation in English and Spanish that gives parents and caregivers basic asthma information

 Presentation: All About Asthma (.ppt, 3.1 MB) /   Spanish version (.ppt, 5.5 MB)

Childhood Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) Collaborative: a collaborative of PAAA members formed to expand Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP), a comprehensive community-based asthma education program, from West/Southwest to North Philadelphia

Education and Outreach: in conjunction with community partners, raised awareness and increased knowledge within the general public 

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Other PAAA activies and products:

Child Asthma Link Line: an integrating, telephone-based intervention that provides information, referral, coordination of an array of services, and follow-up assistance to families of children with asthma; Asthma Care Coordinators follow each participating family for four months and provide longitudinal support services 

  Memorandum of understanding (.doc)
  Asthma evaluation survey, initial and six month (.xls)
  CALL Center user guide (.doc)
  Care coordination service and QA protocols (.doc)
  Set of the above 4 Link Line products (.zip)

Asthma Action Plan: in collaboration with PAAA and Philadelphia's three Medicaid managed care organizations, a standardized Asthma Action Plan was developed and distributed to healthcare providers throughout Philadelphia; as part of the Asthma Strategic Plan for Pennsylvania, it was distributed to providers, schools, and healthcare entities throughout the state

  Asthma action plan (.doc) /   Spanish version (.doc)

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Allies Coalitions












FAM Allies
















   Coalition Overview

   Key PAAA Activities & Products

Materials about PAAA

With health care providers

In the home

In the schools & childcare centers

In the community and clinic

Other PAAA activities and products


Vanessa Briggs, MBA, RD, LDN
Executive Director