Resolution: 13-03

Supporting the Strategic Plan of the San Francisco Asthma Task Force to Promote Effective Asthma Management Prevention Strategies for San Francisco

WHEREAS, in response to growing community concern about asthma the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr. established the Asthma Task Force in May 2001; and,

WHEREAS, the Task Force is a broad-based coalition charged with the responsibility of developing a citywide Strategic Plan to manage and prevent asthma; and,

WHEREAS, asthma adversely affects the quality of life for those suffering from the disease and their families; and, 

WHEREAS, national data have established that asthma is greatly under-diagnosed and under-treated, particularly in children; and, asthma is the leading cause of childhood hospitalizations in California; and, 

WHEREAS, asthma accounts for more lost school days per year than any other chronic disease; and adequate asthma management in young children results in substantial improvements in school performance and learning throughout childhood; and,

WHEREAS, between 1991 and 2000 San Francisco asthma hospitalization rates declined in all ethnic categories; yet, based on the most recent data, African Americans have over three times the asthma hospitalization rates of whites; and,

WHEREAS, asthma prevalence data exists for only one vulnerable community in San Francisco; and the Bayview Hunters Point (BVHP) Health and Environmental Assessment Task Force Community Survey conducted in 1999 showed that 10% of BVHP (i.e., zip code 94124) residents had asthma, with 16% prevalence among children; and not for any other community in San Francisco; and,

WHEREAS, asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that can be effectively managed through the combination of appropriate clinical care and home and community environmental interventions; and,

WHEREAS, the YES WE CAN Urban Asthma Partnership, a medical/social model to scale up best practices was formed in 1997; and,

WHEREAS, the Pediatric Asthma Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital was used as a YES WE CAN demonstration site resulting in the use of preventive medications rising from 39% to 83%, emergency room visits dropping from 63.2% to 31.6% and hospitalizations dropping from 21.2% to 3.8%; and, 

WHEREAS, in addition, the Department of Public Health has established a model adult asthma specialty clinic at SFGHMC, which has also greatly reduced hospitalization and emergency room utilization due to asthma; and, 

WHEREAS, the uniform implementation of proven best practices for both the clinical management of asthma and its environmental control could reduce the asthma morbidity and disparities in morbidity citywide; and,

WHEREAS, coordinated and targeted public education asthma awareness campaigns and activities for all of San Francisco are needed; and,

WHEREAS, the Task Force presented its Strategic Plan with recommendations to the Health Commission on World Asthma Day, May 6th, 2003; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Health Commission commends the work of the Asthma Task Force in addressing this issue; specifically supporting the scope of the recommendations and initial priorities established by the four Task Force subcommittees; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED that the Health Commission requests the Task Force work with the Department of Public Health and bring periodic updates to the Commission as the Strategic Plan is implemented, particularly as new data becomes available to identify needs and to evaluate outcomes.

I hereby certify that the San Francisco Health Commission at its meeting of June 17, 2003 adopted the foregoing resolution.

Jim Soos, Acting Executive Secretary to the Health Commission