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The Asthma Educators Institute, offered by Healthfirst in partnership with the American Lung Association (ALA) offers an opportunity to engage providers around better care for Healthfirst members with asthma, which is important to improving care quality. This two-day program prepares participants to take the exam to become Certified Asthma Educators.

The curriculum covers the content outlined in the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) Candidate Handbook and includes case reviews, hands-on skills demonstration, and practice. In addition, the two days provide a unique opportunity to network with a select group of healthcare providers, educators, and organizations involved in asthma care and asthma care policies.

The course emphasizes clinical guidelines and best practices for patient education around asthma management, giving participants the skills to counsel individuals with asthma and their families around how to best minimize the impact of asthma on their quality of life. Session attendees included clinicians from a variety of fields who came from provider organizations including Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Bedford Stuyvesant Family Health Center, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, and other practices throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx.

Session presenters at the July 15 and 16 training included Healthfirst’s Dr. Susan Beane, VP and Medical Director, who led a session giving an overview of asthma, and Helen Kourlas, Pharmacy, who led presentations on Asthma Management and Pharmacological Therapy and Asthma Medicine Devices. Liz D’Imperio, Director of Asthma Education at the ALA, introduced the course and led a session on principles for partnership in asthma care. She pointed to the diversity of attendees as a unique and valuable feature of Healthfirst’s program. “One great thing about this particular two-day program is that we have so many clinical disciplines represented,” she says. “The more clinicians we have learning best practices for asthma care and asthma self-management education, the more we can ensure that asthma patients are getting care that is well-coordinated and reinforces the same key messages across multiple care settings. This Asthma Educator Institute is a great success due in large part to the partnership with Healthfirst and the participation of their providers.”

Additional sessions are planned for 2015.

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