Shea-Porter Announces Congressional Asthma and Allergy Caucus

Urges Colleagues to Cosponsor  Asthma Management Plans in School Act


WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter has announced that she has created a new caucus, the Congressional Asthma and Allergy Caucus.  The Caucus, which was introduced yesterday as part of the Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics’s (AANMA) Asthma Awareness Day, will work to educate Members of Congress about asthma and severe allergies, and to increase public awareness, and to advance research. Congresswoman Shea-Porter and Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA) will serve as Co-Chairs of the Caucus.

“Children and adult asthma sufferers in New Hampshire struggle with a dangerous and difficult disease,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “The costs of asthma-related emergency room visits in New Hampshire total more than four million dollars each year.  This Caucus will allow Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to work together to help find a cure for this disease.”  

In her remarks at AANMA’s press conference, Congresswoman Shea-Porter also urged her colleagues to support her bill, the Asthma Management Plans in School Act (H.R. 4836).  This bill was introduced by Congresswoman Shea-Porter on March 12, 2010.  It would provide grants to schools to develop asthma management plans and to purchase asthma inhalers and spacers for emergency use.

“Asthma is one of the most common childhood diseases, and it is crucial that schools have the tools they need to help children who have an asthma attack in the classroom,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “My legislation would provide grants to schools to purchase devices for asthma sufferers, and help teach school administrators and teachers how to help a child suffering from an asthma attack.”  

In New Hampshire, approximately 10.5% of adults (18 years and older) and 8.4% of children suffer from asthma.  Every year, nearly 4,000 adults and 3,000 children are newly diagnosed with asthma in the State.  Females in New Hampshire are more than twice as likely as males to have asthma, at 14.3% versus 6.4%.  Almost 70% of children with asthma in New Hampshire may not have their asthma under control and only 31.4% of children with asthma in New Hampshire receive what could be characterized as a minimum standard of asthma education.  Children with asthma are almost twice as likely to miss four or more days of school as those without asthma in the State.  In addition, New Hampshire emergency room costs total approximately $4.1 million per year for asthma-related issues.