Asthma Action Team receives NOVA Award from American Hospital Association

The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced today that it will honor five programs for their hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health, awarding them the AHA NOVA Award. The awards will be given July 22 at a ceremony during the Health Forum/AHA Leadership Summit in San Diego. The winning programs are FirstReach in Pinehurst, N.C.; Children’s Hospital Center for Pediatric Medicine Asthma Action Team in Greenville, S.C.; Let’s Go! in Portland, Maine; Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm (HONU) Project in New Ulm, Minn.; and Finney County Community Health Coalition in Garden City, Kan. “We are pleased to honor this year’s AHA NOVA winners that through collaboration provide for the community through education, outreach and so much more to improve health and wellness,” said AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. “The hospitals leading these programs know the power of collaboration and the positive community health changes that can be achieved when organizations work together.”

Established in 1993, the AHA NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health. The 2014 winning programs and hospital partners are:


FirstHealth of the Carolinas – Pinehurst, N.C.

FirstReach is a nationwide, comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to address diabetes. Its three goals are to increase awareness of signs and symptoms of diabetes and pre-diabetes, implement early diagnosis through screening and referrals and improve diabetes management through intensive education and coordination of services with primary care providers. The program created a non-traditional glucose screening program, offered home visits and links to primary care for individuals with abnormal screening results, embedded certified diabetes educators into primary care practice settings, implemented group medical visits and developed a safety net of key resources for diabetic patients.

Children’s Hospital Center for Pediatric Medicine Asthma Action Team

Greenville Health System – Greenville, S.C.

The Asthma Action Team is a multidisciplinary, multilingual, family-centered program within the Center for Pediatric Medicine, a large primary care clinic. It educates families and the upstate South Carolina community about effective, consistent and evidence-based asthma care, and provides medical care, case management, school and daycare visits and environmental control home visits for children and adolescents with asthma. The program includes a focus on low-income and under-served populations. In addition, it teaches residents, medical students and other health care professionals how to care for children with asthma by addressing environmental control and using evidence-based guidelines.

Let’s Go!

Maine Medical Center/MaineHealth – Portland, Maine

Let’s Go! is a nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program that reaches children and families where they live, learn, work and play. Let’s Go! is committed to changing environments and policies at child care sites, schools, afterschool programs, health care practices, workplaces and communities. The program’s 5-2-1-0 message (five fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks) and 10 evidence-based strategies are used to effect change across the state of Maine. Strong leadership from The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and collaboration across health systems and community health coalitions contribute to the program’s success.

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm (HONU) Project

New Ulm Medical Center – New Ulm, Minn.

Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project is a grassroots, community-driven initiative to reduce heart attacks in rural Minnesota through community, health care, workplace and other initiatives. A collaborative partnership with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, the program has been underway for more than five years. Guided by a broad steering committee, interventions include a phone-based health coaching program with a nurse or dietitian for those at high risk for heart disease or with active disease; free heart health screenings at work and community sites with results entered into patients’ electronic health records; partnerships with restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, farmers markets and school concessions to improve

the nutrition environment; efforts to improve community infrastructure to promote active living; social marketing campaigns; community health challenges; and worksite wellness initiatives.

Finney County Community Health Coalition

St. Catherine Hospital – Garden City, Kan.

The Finney County Community Health Coalition is long-active, with more than 50 community agencies that have formed working groups around core issues such as children and families, chronic risk reduction and community well-being. Efforts have included helping prevent underage drinking, teen pregnancies and tobacco use among at-risk youth; improving transportation; supporting children and families through education and training such as family literacy; and reducing domestic violence. The coalition seldom provides direct services, but instead partners with direct service providers and works to identify community needs, prevent service duplication, seek funding and, when needed, change public policy.


About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information visit the website at

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