Illinois Leads in Adopting State COPD Plan

Illinois becomes the first state to adopt a State COPD Plan developed through a statewide coalition. The aim of the Plan is to reduce COPD-related morbidity and mortality and improve the quality of life of people in Illinois living with COPD. RHA served as convener of the coalition and amassed a broad group of COPD stakeholders to serve on the coalition, including community agencies, health departments, respiratory societies, physical therapy, patients, caregivers, health care providers, and home health care providers.

Illinois Adopts New Asthma “Right to Carry” Law

Illinois adopts legislation permitting schoolchildren with asthma to carry their quick relief asthma medication while at school, provided they have physician and parent approval. The legislation follows several asthma emergencies in which asthma medications were kept locked away in school and were unavailable when needed. Respiratory Health Association co-led the policy effort and subsequent amendments to extend the law to after-school and park district activities.

RHA Formalizes Commitment to Legislative Advocacy

RHA formalizes its organizational commitment to play an active role in legislative advocacy as a means of achieving the prevention and control of lung disease. Eventually RHA would play a significant role in many legislative advocacy efforts, including protection of federal and state clean air legislation and the passage of smoke-free laws in Chicago and Illinois, among other locations.

Lake County First to Enact Tobacco 21

Board members approve a change to Lake County’s tobacco ordinance increasing the legal sales age to 21 for the purchase of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, in unincorporated areas of the county. The vote receives broad support amongst the 21-member board at their September 12, 2017 meeting.

The change goes into effect January 1, 2018 and makes Lake County the first in Illinois to take this important step toward reducing teens’ access to tobacco products, a proven strategy for reducing current use and preventing youth from starting to use tobacco.

Buffalo Grove Adopts Tobacco 21

Village trustees of Buffalo Grove vote 3-2 to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21 at their August 21, 2017 meeting, making Buffalo Grove the 11th municipality in Illinois to adopt Tobacco 21. The ordinance takes effect in February 2018.

COPD National Action Plan Released

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), releases its COPD National Action Plan. Respiratory Health Association believes this plan will serve as a springboard to promote policy change that supports the needs of people living with COPD and their caregivers, and fosters better communications among healthcare providers, all in an effort to reduce the burden of COPD and improve health outcomes for people living with the disease.

RHA’s COPD initiatives are aligned to support the national plan’s goals:

  • Empower people with COPD, their families, and caregivers to recognize and reduce the burden of COPD
  • Improve quality of care delivered across health care systems
  • Collect, analyze, report, and disseminate COPD data
  • Increase and sustain COPD research
  • Turn COPD policy and program recommendations into research and public healthcare actions

During the plan’s development, RHA was pleased to work with COPD stakeholders across the nation to provide input and feedback.

Join RHA and the COPD patient community as we work together each year on advocacy activities targeting elected officials.

Future Energy Jobs Act a Big Win

On December 1, 2016, Illinois passes the biggest clean energy bill in the country.  Respiratory Health Association worked diligently for years with the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition to restore Illinois’ stalled clean energy programs designed improve air quality and public health.

With this new legislation, 25 percent of Illinois’s electricity will come from clean, renewable power by 2025.

The law also vastly increases energy efficiency programs, saving Illinois ratepayers billions of dollars while cutting power from dirty coal plants and eliminating deadly air pollution in the process.

Other provisions will lead to new solar and wind power construction in Illinois that will supply nearly a million homes with clean energy by 2030.

All of these components add up to a big win for healthy lungs and clean air.

Berwyn Enacts Tobacco 21

The Village of Berwyn adopts a Tobacco 21 ordinance at their July 25, 2017 meeting, raising the age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21.

Illinois Schools Required to Adopt Asthma Protocols

Illinois Public Act 099-0843 is signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on August 19, 2016, requiring Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to develop a model asthma episode emergency response protocol, and for each school district, charter school, and non-public school to adopt a similar protocol, including all the components of the ISBE model protocol, by January 1, 2017. The model protocol and other resources are available on the ISBE website.

Schools are also required to request an asthma action plan from each parent of a student with asthma. If provided, the asthma action plan must be kept on file in the office of the school nurse or, in the absence of a school nurse, the school administrator.

Finally, the law requires school personnel who work with pupils to complete training on the management of asthma, prevention of asthma symptoms, and emergency response in the school setting every two years. RHA’s one-hour Asthma Management program meets this requirement and educates teachers, school staff and other caregivers of children with asthma.

Date: August 19, 2016

CPS Approves Asthma Policy

On January 26, 2012, Chicago Public School Board of Education approves a new asthma policy, increasing awareness and support of students with asthma. The new policy reduces barriers for students to carry and self-medicate using their quick-relief inhalers. It also requires administrators to ask for information about students with asthma at the beginning of each school year, including asthma action plans; and all staff who interact with children will receive asthma training every two years.