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ADVANCE Perspective: Respiratory Views

Asthma Education -- Did We Get it Right?

Published March 18, 2009 10:20 AM by Frank Visco
As a supplement to our story on Puff City, a web-based program that aims to improve asthma education for urban teens, we put together an asthma education timeline that chronicles ten educational landmarks in the history of asthma education.

Currently there is a relatively high-awareness of asthma, but experts indicate education did not really kick off until the 1980s when mortality rates began to climb unrelentingly. As a result, our timeline only covers the last 23 years, starting in 1985 with the first Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) newsletter and ending in 2008 with Puff City.

Although we did get help from a variety of experts, obviously our ten selections aren't the end all be all. For instance, one could make a case that we should have started long before 1985, with the asthma research of Fanny Lorber, founder of the National Jewish Home for Asthmatic Children, in the 1950s. Although this was an important moment in asthma history, we tried to concentrate on things that brought asthma to the masses and so we left it out.

However, even considering this criterion, one could argue that we should have picked different programs, or that we could have nailed down a specific date for the government's widespread dissemination of pamphlets.

We like our list, but maybe you see some oversights. As is customary with lists, everything's debatable. What do you think of our timeline and what do you think we missed?


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