INDIANA SCHOOLS SELECTED FOR STATE ASTHMA EDUCATION STUDY
INDIANAPOLIS—Two Indiana elementary schools, Molly B. Hoover Elementary in Crawfordsville and Oaklandon Elementary in Indianapolis, have been chosen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for an evaluability assessment of their multi-component asthma education and management initiatives, including the Fly a Flag for Clean Air program. The purpose of the evaluability assessment is to determine if the two schools’ programs can be replicated by others around the nation.
Oaklandon and Hoover were recently visited by staff members of the Indiana State Department of Health and the CDC to determine if the statistics gathered can help develop data collection instruments that can be used by other schools across the country.
Asthma is one of the main reasons for school absenteeism nationwide, but there is little in public health literature about evidence-based programs in schools focused on better asthma management. A cooperative effort between the Indiana State Department of Health, the CDC, and schools in Indiana and two other states may soon provide adequate data to move their multi-component, school based asthma management efforts from the “promising practice” category, to evidence-based.
The Fly a Flag for Clean Air program provides grade-specific curriculum about air quality and its impact on health. The program engages students in checking the air quality index daily, announcing the air quality index for the day, and raising a colored flag to indicate the air quality for that day. Participating schools ensure that all students with asthma have asthma action plans, and the school nurse collects information such as asthma-related nurse visits, ambulance calls and preventative treatments given daily. Additionally, Fly a Flag schools ban tobacco use and engine idling on school property.
Both Hoover and Oaklandon have participated in the Fly a Flag program for more than a year and have had faculty members attend asthma management training. The schools’ Indoor Air Quality coordinators will be trained later this summer on monitoring and improving air quality inside school buildings.
The Fly a Flag program is supported by the Indiana State Department of Health, Anthem, WellPoint, the City of Indianapolis, Duke Energy and Improving Kids’ Environment.
For more information, please visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.StateHealth.IN.gov