American Lung Association Receives $2 Million Grant from United Health Foundation to Help Build Healthier Communities in the Upper Midwest

May 04, 2015
  • Grant will support the Partners for Asthma Action project in five markets, including Milwaukee

The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest was awarded a three-year, $2 million grant by United Health Foundation to help support the “Partners for Asthma Action” project in 90 clinics across the Midwest, including the Milwaukee metro area.

Partners for Asthma Action aims to improve the quality of life, school achievement and life prospects of more than 180,000 low-income children living with asthma in Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Louis and a fifth city to be identified later this year. The goal is to improve the quality of life of children living with asthma, enhance awareness of asthma treatment and education resources; and establish a sustainable capacity of local public health and social service agencies to remove asthma environmental triggers, and identify and refer children with poorly managed asthma – all of which will help lower the costs of asthma care in these communities by reducing unnecessary health care utilizations.    

The grant is part of United Health Foundation’s “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program that is providing critical resources to nonprofit, community-based organizations across the country to improve communities’ health and well-being.

“We are thrilled to receive United Health Foundation’s support in helping us expand our work and enhance people’s health and well-being in greater southeast Wisconsin,” said Linda Witucki, executive director, American Lung Association in Wisconsin. “By supporting Partners for Asthma Action, the United Health Foundation grant will help us significantly improve the quality of life of children in our community living with asthma.”

The grant was awarded May 2 during the American Lung Association in Wisconsin’s annual O2 Oxygen Ball. All proceeds from the O2 Oxygen Ball support the Lung Association’s services in Wisconsin to improve lung health and prevent lung disease through education, advocacy and research. Celebrations of the grant are also being held in cities throughout the Midwest that will benefit, including Saint Louis, Milwaukee and Indianapolis.

“United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to support the American Lung Association’s efforts in bringing new, innovative approaches in care,” said Dustin Hinton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin and Michigan, and board member of the American Lung Association in Wisconsin. “The American Lung Association’s work in the community is showing significant results and enhancing people’s health and quality of life, particularly in underserved areas.”

Reaching more than 500,000 people each year, the Lung Association of the Upper Midwest is a regional charter of the national American Lung Association.  The Lung Association of the Upper Midwest is composed of 10 state associations across the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Each office provides lung disease education and intervention programs to improve management and reduce disability; tobacco prevention and control programs; professional education programs to improve lung disease treatment; and programs to improve outdoor and indoor air quality.

The United Health Foundation grant will be administered by the Lung Association of the Upper Midwest over a three-year period. The Partners for Asthma Action project will be implemented in coordination with local clinics, and success measurements will include significant improvement in asthma health outcomes and control, and significant reduction in health care costs.

About the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest
Our mission is to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is "Fighting for Air" through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit

About United Health Foundation
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at

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