Native AIR

Native AIR (Asthma Intervention & Reduction) is a program coordinated by Montana State University Extension Service Housing & Environmental Quality Program. The program seeks to help children understand the triggers of asthma in order to prevent or control its onset.

Montana State University Extension is a unique organization serving all the people of Montana with research, skills and knowledge from Montana State University in Bozeman.  Extension Family and Consumer Sciences professionals serve people and families of all shapes and sizes, providing what people need to make informed decisions and suggestions on change.  By pooling expertise in food and nutrition, housing, health, family issues, personal finances, and environmental health, the Extension network provides innovative and targeted programs based on the needs of families, individuals, businesses and communities.  The Extension programs blend educational resources across disciplines to provide integrated programs the respond to needs.
Native AIR was a three-year effort  funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The goal of Native AIR is to develop, implement and evaluate a culturally specific asthma education program for reservation-based families.  While the grant has ended, information is still being widely distributed on the seven reservations in Montana; Native AIR is providing culturally specific marketing and outreach materials such as “Asthma Trigger Packs” loaded with asthma education materials.  The materials will continue to aid the adults and children with assessing their home for asthma triggers and how to prevent and control those asthma triggers.  To assure asthma triggers are kept in check, children have also been provided with a fun Asthma Journal to develop an asthma-reduction action plan and record all daily aspects of their progress.
Project Community Leaders on each reservation are looking into creative ways to reach the youth in their communities about asthma and the triggers that may exist in their homes.  Strong partnerships with organizations such as 4-H youth groups, Boys & Girls Club, and Early Head Start have been made along the way.  Area meetings are held to educate older children about asthma, helping them to serve as mentors to educate their parents and younger children about asthma trigger information and prevention.

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