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The Colorado Step Up Asthma Program

A girl with long brown hair sits cross-legged on a red, orange, green and blue rug in a classroom. She's wearing a yellow long sleeve shirt, jeans and brown Ugg boots.

What is the Colorado Step Up Asthma Program?

The Colorado Step Up Asthma Program is a school-centered asthma program led by Stanley Szefler, MD, director of the Pediatric Asthma Research Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The program is designed to help improve asthma control for students through educational classes, asthma self-management, environmental trigger awareness/reduction and community partnership with health providers. Learn more about asthma.

How much does the program cost and where is it available?

The program is a FREE educational service currently available in Denver, Brighton and Englewood public schools. The program focuses on elementary schools with high asthma rates and/or students at risk for health problems.

Is my child eligible for the Colorado Step Up Asthma Program?

Students from the age of 5 to 14 years old who exhibit uncontrolled asthma are eligible to participate. Children must be current students at a participating school.

What makes the Colorado Step Up Asthma Program unique?

The Colorado Step Up Asthma Program is the only long-running, organized school-based initiative in Colorado. It has demonstrated significant improvement in clinical asthma outcomes including improved school attendance rates, reduced frequency of asthma symptoms and decreased Emergency/Urgent Care visits for asthma. The program has also helped train school nurses to become certified asthma educators.

Tests and treatments offered by the Colorado Step Up Asthma Program

All students in the program have access to a quick relief medication and an asthma care plan at school. They also receive an “asthma toolkit,” a spacer device and peak flow meter to reinforce asthma self-care skills.

Watch a video about how to use an inhaler and a peak flow meter.

Our medical team may assist with providing appropriate asthma controller medication based on the severity, while establishing resources for access to asthma care for families. Home visits are available as needed.

Research and clinical trials

More than 9,000 students in Denver Public Schools have a current asthma diagnosis and prevalence rates are highest (up to 20%) in schools with low socioeconomic status.

Community events and resources

The Colorado Step Up Asthma Program has reached over 3,000 Coloradans through asthma nights, health fairs and school events.

The program provides asthma education and hands-on workshops for school personnel including school nurses who are directly responsible for serving all of the students.


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Phone: 720-777-5800 (Se Habla Español)

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