Doctor talking with patient

August 1, 2023

The following is a statement by Allergy & Asthma Network on a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine report issued on July 28. The report makes 13 recommendations to advance health equity, including the creation of a federal entity to coordinate health equity efforts throughout the federal government.

All people deserve the opportunity to achieve their highest potential for health. But too often, longstanding healthcare inequalities undermine this opportunity, especially for those in under-represented communities.

Allergy & Asthma Network applauds the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for its recommendation that the President create a permanent entity to oversee racial, ethnic and tribal health equity efforts across the entire federal government.

Asthma has long affected Black Americans, who face significantly higher rates of hospitalization and death due to the chronic disease. COVID-19 also shined a spotlight on health disparities, with more Black, Hispanic/Latino and Native Americans at higher risk for hospitalization and death during the pandemic. Further, Black children are at higher risk for food allergies than non-Hispanic white children. And eczema is more common and sometimes more severe in Black and Hispanic Americans, especially children.

Ensuring that the federal government integrates health equity in programs, policies and legislation is a critical step forward in helping to resolve this public health issue.

Allergy & Asthma Network is developing initiatives to address the needs of under-represented communities. These include our ongoing Trusted Messengers program and Asthma Coaching program. Patients who complete the Asthma Coaching program see significant improvement in their asthma control. It has been shown to have great benefit to Black Americans with moderate to severe asthma in the under $50,000 income levels.