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LSU Bogalusa Medical Center Asthma Program Named Center of Excellence by the American Lung Association in Louisiana

Tommy Lotz, Vice President for Health Promotions and Volunteer Development, ALA Plains-Gulf Region, (left) presented to Dr. David East and DeAnn Forbes, RRT, AE-C, the certificate identifying LSU BMC as an Asthma Center of Excellence.

Bogalusa The American Lung Association (ALA) in Louisiana has named the Asthma Program at LSU Bogalusa Medical Center (BMC) in Bogalusa, La., an Asthma Center of Excellence.

The LSU BMC Asthma Program is only the second program in Louisiana with this designation.

The Asthma Program at Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge, another LSU hospital, was the first to receive this designation.

The LSU BMC program has met the rigorous criteria set forth by the ALA in Louisiana, including having an asthma educator with certification from the National Asthma Educator Certification Board. DeAnn Forbes, RRT, AE-C, fulfills this role at the hospital.

As the asthma team lead and pulmonologist, Dr. David East and all Internal Medicine staff utilize evidence-based treatment for patients with asthma.

With an asthma educator and a prescribing practitioner, the LSU BMC program surpasses most programs. The practitioner can evaluate the patient for medicinal needs and immediately prescribe them, increasing the likelihood that the patient will fill and use the prescriptions, which are well established to prevent asthma attacks.

"One of our goals is to provide patients with controller and rescue medicines so that they can stay healthy and out of the emergency room," said Dr. East.

Unlike many programs, the LSU BMC program provides medicines for the indigent at low cost due to the generosity of the pharmaceutical industry.

ALA in Louisiana criteria call for written procedures for asthma education and management, measured outcomes of the program and resources for the community. "As a teaching hospital, we follow evidence-based guidelines for treating and managing asthma," said Dr. East. "Our residents will implement what they're learning here in the communities where they will be practicing."

Resources include the availability of LSU BMC to the insured and uninsured and educational efforts, ensuring that patients have the professional support, knowledge and skills necessary to manage asthma.

The LSU BMC Asthma Program began in 2002. Since 2007, the program has educated 643 patients in individual asthma classes.

The LSU BMC Asthma Program has a reputation for excellence. At the 13th annual LSU Health Care Effectiveness Forum, LSU BMC received the Clinical Excellence in Asthma Care Award, demonstrating superior outcomes on a bundle of disease-specific performance measures.