Environmental Asthma Triggers: Primary Care Tips
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When: 11/16/2011

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What: Environmental Asthma Triggers: Primary Care Tips 

When: Nov. 16, 2011, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET       
Where: Your computer
Cost: FREE
Who should attend: All NPs & PAs who treat asthma in primary care settings.
Speakers: Lois Wessel, RN, CFNP, and Anna M. Gard, FNP-BC

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants frequently see patients with acute exacerbations of asthma. This course focuses on incorporating environmental trigger control into a comprehensive asthma management plan in order to decrease asthma episodes. Developed by nurse practitioners, it is intended for healthcare providers who work with at risk populations in primary care settings. The presentation covers the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute 2007 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) Guidelines, incorporation of environmental asthma trigger management into practice, strategies to reduce exposures to indoor air pollutants, integration of patient education for patients with limited English proficiency and low health literacy and asthma self management. The presenters will discuss the role of health information technology and how it relates to asthma and quality improvement.

The goal of this program is to improve the quality of comprehensive asthma care by training NPs and PAs to incorporate culturally and linguistically appropriate education on environmental asthma trigger management consistent with the 2007 NAEPP guidelines. Increasing patients' and caregivers' knowledge about controlling environmental triggers and providing them with practical tools to maintain a healthy indoor environment is critical to effective care management. Engaging patients and their families in this way ultimately leads to healthier homes and communities and fewer asthma attacks.

Lois Wessel, RN, CFNP is the associate director for programs at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU). Wessel has developed and delivered training modules for community-based clinics in the areas of asthma education, prevention of early childhood caries, health literacy, medication management for patients with limited English proficiency (LEP) and use of medical interpreters. She is the ACU EPA grant project codirector for Comprehensive Asthma Care: Effective Strategies for Health Professionals to Implement Environmental Trigger Management in Underserved Populations. As faculty at the Georgetown School of Nursing, Wessel lectures and mentors students on topics pertaining to providing culturally competent care to patients with LEP and low health literacy. Wessel also works clinically serving low-income patients at Community Clinic, Inc., a federally qualified health center and at Celebremos La Vida, a cervical and breast cancer screening program at Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University. She is bilingual (English-Spanish) and is a trained medical interpreter and teaches in interpreter training courses. Wessel holds a BA in political science from Oberlin College, a BSN from Johns Hopkins University, and a Masters of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University. 

Anna M. Gard, FNP-BC is a certified family nurse practitioner and a team clinician for the VNA Community Health Services Children's Clinic, a nurse managed health center, and a participant in the Pennsylvania Chronic Care Initiative. She previously practiced in a federally qualified, nurse-managed health center in a Philadelphia public housing community. During that time, she helped implement an electronic health record (EHR) system in the four-clinic network and served as the network EHR project coordinator assisting in staff training, system interface and customization, and operational workflow design. She is the ACU EPA grant project codirector for Comprehensive Asthma Care: Effective Strategies for Health Professionals to Implement Environmental Trigger Management in Underserved Populations. She is the ACU consultant for special populations providing technical assistance to the National Center for Health in Public Housing and National Health Care for the Homeless Council. She serves on the Workforce Development Committee for the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved. She is a clinical lecturer in the Drexel University School of Health Sciences. She has served as a clinical instructor for the primary care nurse practitioner programs at The University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, LaSalle University and Gwynedd Mercy College.  Her key areas of focus are the intersection of health disparities, quality improvement performance, patient centered medical home, chronic care management and health IT in safety net populations. Gard received her Masters of Science degree in Nursing at The University of Pennsylvania.

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