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American Lung Association Hosts Media Tele-Briefing: Potential Federal Budget Cuts Threaten Illinois Residents with Asthma

(May 3, 2011)—

The American Lung Association will host a press conference call to discuss its strong support for continued funding of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program, which has worked to integrate and coordinate the public health response to asthma management in Illinois and across the country. The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 proposes a merger of the National Asthma Control Program with the Healthy Homes/Lead Poisoning Prevention Program, and debilitating cuts to both budgets by over 50 percent. This would have a serious impact on the more than 762,000 adults and almost 300,000 children in Illinois who suffer from asthma.

WHEN: Thursday, May 5 at 11 a.m. CST

Dial the Conference Access Number: (866) 551-3680
Enter your Participant PIN Code followed by the # key: 7924884#
You will be placed on musical hold until the Event begins

WHO: Speakers on the call will include the following individuals:

  • Harold Wimmer, CEO of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
  • Erika Sward, Director of National Policy and Advocacy, American Lung Association
  • Melissa A. Gutierrez, MS, epidemiologist at the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI) in Chicago
  • Lilliana DeSantiago, MSW, Coordinated School Health Specialist, Chicago Public Schools
  • Charlotte Collins, JD, Vice President of Policy and Programs, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

WHY: The President’s Budget proposes to reduce the number of states funded by the National Asthma Control Program from 36 to 15. It could result in the elimination of funding for Illinois’ asthma control program. These budget cuts would drastically reduce Illinois’ capacity to implement a proven public health response to this disease, rolling back progress made in managing asthma. This progress includes reductions in asthma hospitalizations by 18 percent over the past few years. Illinois has also seen a steady decline in asthma mortality rates over the last decade.

On Tuesday, May 3, the American Lung Association sent a letter to Congress, urging them to ensure that CDC’s National Asthma Control Program remains a stand-alone program and receives an appropriation of $31 million for Fiscal Year 2012. This will give the program sufficient resources to continue its work to reduce the burden of asthma in Illinois and in other states.


About the American Lung Association
Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a Charity Navigator Four Star Charity and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit

About the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
For 60 years the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has supported patients, providers and caregivers through research, education and advocacy. AAFA is a member of the National Health Council and holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal. Call 1-800-7-ASTHMA or visit for more information.