FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, APRIL 23, 2024 – Allergy & Asthma Network, the leading nonprofit outreach, education, advocacy and research organization for adults and children living with asthma, allergies and related conditions, announces its Trusted Messengers program community outreach plans for 2024.

Allergy & Asthma Network plans to engage in at least 20 community outreach events nationwide this year – from Los Angeles to Dallas to New York City.

Trusted Messengers is an award-winning health equity program that involves community outreach to increase awareness and education about asthma, allergies and related conditions. The program offers free virtual asthma coaching in English and Spanish. Allergy & Asthma Network plans to offer virtual asthma coaching to no less than 500 people in 2024.

Catharine and Leandra at a health booth with various printed material offered by AAN

Trusted Messengers Community Outreach

The Trusted Messengers Community Outreach program partners with community groups that hold health fairs and events to promote awareness and patient education for people in under-resourced communities. Many in these communities are at higher risk for severe health outcomes, including hospitalizations and deaths, due to lack of access to healthcare and other social determinants of health.

Trusted Messengers certified asthma educators and other public health professionals travel to local health fairs across the country. They provide free health assessments for asthma, food allergies, eczema and other medical conditions. They also provide patient education resources and discuss symptoms, diagnosis, management, and treatment options.

“Many factors impact health disparities, from increased exposure to allergens and irritants to income level and lack of quality health insurance,” says Catherine Blackwell, RN, Chief Health Equity Officer for Allergy & Asthma Network. “People in medically underserved communities are more likely to miss doctor appointments, delay their care or forgo treatment, leading to poorer health outcomes. The Trusted Messengers program helps people get the knowledge they need so they can get the healthcare they deserve.”

Trusted Messengers Virtual Asthma Coaching

Following the community events, adults with asthma who met with Trusted Messengers asthma educators are invited to enroll in a free virtual asthma coaching program so they can learn how to better manage their asthma. The sessions are delivered by smartphone, tablet or computer and led by an asthma educator. Research shows the program improves asthma self-management and quality of life for those who complete the program.

“Asthma, allergy and eczema prevalence and severity are far higher in communities of color,” says Lynda Mitchell, CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network. “We are committed to improving health equity nationwide in the areas of highest burden. Our Trusted Messengers program combines community outreach and follows up with virtual asthma coaching. It is a successful model that can help reduce health disparities. We build connections with people and establish trust. We work closely with people so they can learn how to manage their asthma and other conditions and make informed decisions about their health.”

2024 Community Outreach Plans

Trusted Messengers community outreach activities have already kicked off in 2024 with two events in Atlanta: one on March 12 in partnership with Black Health Matters, and one on March 24 in partnership with New Birth Missionary Church Health Ministry. The Trusted Messengers team also participated in the Black Health Matters Spring 2024 Health Summit & Expo in Washington, DC on April 13 and at the Latino Health Summit in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on April 19-20.

The Trusted Messengers 2024 schedule will include at least 20 community events in areas with a high burden of asthma. The following cities are already confirmed:

  • Albany, NY
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Columbus, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY

Additional community events are being confirmed in New York, Michigan, New Mexico, Florida, and other locations.

The health fairs and events are all open to the public and free to attend.

About Allergy & Asthma Network 

Founded in 1985, Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading nonprofit outreach, education, advocacy and research organization for people and families living with allergies, asthma, and related conditions. Our mission is simple yet profound: to end needless death and suffering, empower people to take control of their health and well-being, and make healthcare more inclusive, equitable and accessible for people living with these conditions.

We are committed to raising awareness, promoting understanding, offering resources, fostering collaboration, and advocating for policies and research that enhance the quality of life for everyone impacted by these conditions. We specialize in making medically accurate information understandable to all while promoting evidence-based care.

About Trusted Messengers

Trusted Messengers is the signature health equity program of Allergy & Asthma Network. The program is built on a belief in community-led solutions to achieve equity in healthcare. Trusted Messengers began in 2020 to address the negative health impact of COVID-19 and asthma in the Black community. The program is designed to help people get the knowledge they need – from trusted, credible sources such as local churches and community health centers – to adopt healthy behaviors and make informed decisions about their health.

Trusted Messengers events involve certified asthma educators going into communities to conduct assessments for asthma, allergies, food allergies and eczema. People with asthma are invited to enroll in virtual asthma coaching, a free 6-week series of 1-on-1 online sessions – available in English and Spanish – with a certified asthma educator. Trusted Messengers is funded through the generous support of founding sponsor Sanofi, as well as Amgen, AstraZeneca, Chiesi, Genentech, GSK, Johnson & Johnson Innovations, Novartis and Regeneron.