School Asthma Initiative Program

School Asthma
Initiative

School Asthma Initiative (SAI)

Breathe Pennsylvania’s School Asthma Initiative (SAI) is an asthma management program facilitated by certified asthma educators (AE-C). SAI provides in-person and real-time virtual asthma awareness, education, training, and resources throughout Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. The goal of SAI is to promote a healthy life for all children diagnosed with asthma.

SAI works within three settings to provide asthma education, training, and resources

Home

Are you a parent or caregiver of a child with asthma? Do you have questions about your child’s asthma diagnosis or management, such as:

  • How does a doctor decide if a child has asthma?
  • What asthma treatments are available?
  • Who should be included on a child’s Asthma Care Team?
  • Why is an Asthma Action Plan important?

SAI provides parents and caregivers of children with asthma online asthma education sessions and virtual asthma management updates through social media and email. All education sessions, presented by Breathe Pennsylvania’s Certified Asthma Educators (AE-C), will help parents and caregivers develop a better understanding of what asthma is and identify:

  • Early warning signs that occur before an attack;
  • Home and school triggers which can start an asthma attack the purpose of each asthma medication and how the device works;
  • Why an Asthma Action Plan can help reduce the number of days missed from school.

A Student Asthma Kit is included with the online education session. Inside the Kit is an Asthma Action Workbook full of activities to help your child learn about asthma, and tools that can help your child improve their asthma management. Tools may include a peak flow meter, which will help assess airflow, and a spacer, which will increase the amount of medicine reaching the lungs.

School

SAI offers a variety of in-person and live online school-based asthma programs that are facilitated by Breathe Pennsylvania’s Certified Asthma Educators (AE-C). All programs follow the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s (NHLBI) Expert Panel Report (EPR) Guidelines for “Best Practice” in the diagnosis and management of asthma. Programs include:

  • Student Asthma Training is available for school-age students with asthma and may include multiple sessions. Students enrolled in the program learn about asthma basics and receive a Student Asthma Kit. The Student Asthma Kit includes an Asthma Action Workbook, spacer, and a peak flow meter.
  • School Nurses can receive CEU course credit in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and Act 48 accreditation through Pennsylvania Department of Education. Two trainings are available.
    • Current Asthma Classifications/Treatment Guidelines and Breath Sounds Training
    • Strategies to Address Allergies’ Impact on Students with Asthma.
  •  A School Nurse Asthma Tool Kit is provided to nurses completing the training. The Kit provides resources for school nurses to help manage their student’s asthma, and includes peak flow meters with disposable mouth pieces, spacers, Asthma Action Profiles, and an opportunity to apply for a back-up albuterol inhaler for their school.
  • School Personnel receive an interactive asthma training that covers asthma basics: environmental triggers, exercise-induced asthma, and how to manage an asthma attack.
  • Early Learning Practitioners (ELP) may participate in live online training that provides education, materials, and resources on childhood asthma. ELP’s can receive credit for taking this course which is taught by Certified Asthma Educators certified as “Special Discipline Instructors” through PA Keys.
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Educational Asthma Videos

Community

Breathe Pennsylvania’s School Asthma Initiative (SAI) provides community-based outreach program and training taught to individuals and groups that support children with asthma and their parents or caregivers.

  • Healthcare Providers partner in providing asthma education, medication, and resources to families of children with asthma enrolled in programs.
  • Community Health Workers enroll in a five- week, live online, training that covers: the scope of asthma, triggers and environmental control, medications, medication delivery devices, and assessment and monitoring. Once the training is completed participants receive a Certificate of Completion.
  • Students enrolled in schools of nursing, respiratory care, or pharmacy receive an in-person or virtual asthma training which provides insight to the dynamics of school asthma as well as background on asthma basics.

School Asthma Initiative (SAI)
Certified Asthma Educator Contact Information:

Jeannie Simms, BA, AE-C
Senior Director of Asthma Education and Programs
Office: (724) 772-1750 | Cell: (412) 855-4594

Jessica Schuman, RN, BSN, AE-C
Director of Asthma Education and Programs
Office: (724) 772-1750 | Cell: (724) 900-1115