Closing the Gap in Care for Children with Asthma

Asthma is the single most common chronic condition among children. Yet, two out of three children don’t receive recommended treatment, only half are advised on how to manage their asthma and less than that receive an asthma action plan. Expanding the traditional healthcare team could help close these gaps in care. Studies have shown that trained asthma educators, experts in evidence-based asthma education and tailored counseling, can help coordinate care and improve asthma management, especially for underserved and minority populations.

Join the Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc. (MCAN) and the Association of Asthma Educators (AAE) for an interactive webinar that will explore how expanding the healthcare team with asthma educators/counselors/coordinators can help fill some of the missing gaps in asthma care, such as patient education and chronic disease management. While research shows that involving these asthma professionals can help reduce asthma symptoms, ER visits and hospitalizations, they are not a standard part of the healthcare team. Webinar panelists will discuss barriers to the wide-spread integration of the asthma educator, including limited reimbursement despite a national standardized certification process and minimal awareness about the role and benefit of these professionals.

When: Thursday, June 6, 1 – 2 p.m. ET

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Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 13605, for 1.0 contact hour.

Following the webinar, attendees should contact Courtney Devine ([email protected]) to determine next steps on receiving continuing education credit.


  • Floyd J. Malveaux, MD, PhD, executive director, Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc.
  • Chanda Nicole Holsey, DrPH, MPH, AE-C, president, Association of Asthma Educators
  • Ellen O’Kelley, PNP, BC, AE-C, Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt; board member, Association of Asthma Educators
  • Kristi Rapp, PharmD, AE-C, BCACP, principal investigator, Head-off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana (HEAL) Phase 2, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Denise Woodall-Ruff, MD, staff pediatrician, Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans

About the Presenters:

Floyd J. Malveaux, MD, PhD, is the executive director of the Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc. (MCAN), the nation’s only nonprofit dedicated to implementing science-based programs to address childhood asthma. Dr. Malveaux, a nationally recognized expert on asthma and allergic diseases, is emeritus dean of the College of Medicine and professor of microbiology and medicine at Howard University.

While at Howard, Dr. Malveaux led the University’s participation in several multi-million dollar initiatives to identify and address risk factors that contribute to increased asthma morbidity among inner-city children and to develop effective, community-based interventions to reduce and prevent asthma among at-risk populations. In addition, Dr. Malveaux has worked extensively to address health disparities and improve the quality of health care and health outcomes, especially among low-income, urban and underserved populations.

Dr. Malveaux is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Creighton University, Loyola University (New Orleans), and the Horizon Foundation. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the National Medical Association, and the Children’s Research Institute of the Children’s National Medical Center.

Chanda Nicole Holsey, DrPH, MPH, AE-C, is the founder and visionary of Healthy Aims for Little Ones and Families (HALO for Families), a public health organization where the ultimate goal is to provide parents and caregivers with relevant and effective high quality tools to increase the confidence necessary to nurture, teach, and model healthy physical, mental, and social behaviors in children.

A veteran public health professional, Dr. Holsey brings over 18 years experience in public health program management. She has planned, implemented, and evaluated health promotion programs nationally for the American Public Health Association, Association of Asthma Educators, and American Lung Association. She currently serves in a consultant capacity as the section administrator where she writes grants, prepares annual budgets, and evaluates the program planning and operational activities for the Internal Medicine and Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Sections of the National Medical Association.

She has trained widely on the topic of pediatric asthma education and management and has several publications and professional presentations in the areas of asthma management, pediatric asthma, maternal and child health, chronic disease prevention, health disparities research, and health education. She holds professorships at Nova Southeastern University, Walden University, and Ashford University where she teaches an array of public health, heath care, and health services courses. Dr. Holsey earned a Master of Public Health in Behavioral Science and Health Education from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a Doctor of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Additionally, Dr. Holsey is a certified asthma educator (AE-C).

Ellen O’Kelley, PNP, BC, AE-C, received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of South Florida (Tampa) in 1976 and earned her Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certificate with Highest Honors in 1979 at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. In the past 34 years, Ellen has worked in a variety of pediatric and family practice settings. She now is on faculty of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and works in the Children’s Lung Center where she provides asthma management to children with moderate to severe asthma.

She has been certified as a PNP by the American Nurses Credentialing Center for over 30 years and is certified by the National Asthma Educator Certification Board as an asthma educator. She is a member of the Board of the Directors of the Association of Asthma Educators and is Co-Chair of the Advocacy Committee. She has presented AAE’s National Asthma Educator Certification and Recertification Course and is coordinator of the annual Pediatric Asthma Education Conference in Nashville.

Kristi Isaac Rapp, PharmD, AE-C, BCACP, is a clinical associate professor in the Division of Clinical and Administrative Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy. She received her undergraduate degree in biology from Alcorn State University. Further studies awarded her a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy. She completed a pharmacy primary care residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

She is principal investigator on the Head Off Environmental Asthma in Louisiana, Phase II project. This project aims to improve pediatric asthma in the greater New Orleans area. Also, Dr. Rapp serves as a clinical pharmacist and asthma educator at Ochsner Medical Center in the Department of Allergy. She provides patient centered care while precepting and mentoring students, and is committed to helping medically underserved communities and eliminating health disparities.

At Xavier, Dr. Rapp teaches pulmonary disorders in Disease State Management I. She is also director of the Xavier University of Louisiana PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program.

Denise Woodall-Ruff, MD,
has been a pediatrician for 13 years. A graduate of The State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Science in Buffalo, N.Y., Dr. Woodall-Ruff completed a fellowship in community pediatrics and child health advocacy and is board certified in pediatrics. She specializes in pediatrics, adolescent medicine, childhood obesity, and breast feeding education. Dr. Woodall-Ruff is a staff pediatrician at the Daughters of Charity Health Center Carrollton location in the Uptown area of New Orleans. She was named one of New Orleans Magazine’s “Top Doctors” in 2010 and 2011 and touted as a “Health Care Hero” by New Orleans CityBusiness in 2010.

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