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Jul 2018

St. Louis Children’s Hospital Honored by the American Hospital Association for Working to Improve Community Health

Five Collaborative Programs Win 2018 AHA NOVA Awards

The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced it will honor five programs with the AHA NOVA Award for their hospital-led collaborative efforts that improve community health. Among the five winning programs is the St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Kids Express Asthma. The awards will be given July 28 at a ceremony during the AHA’s Leadership Summit in San Diego.

“Hospitals and health systems continue to reach beyond their four walls to meet the needs of their communities in innovative ways,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “This year’s AHA NOVA honorees demonstrate how the power of partnerships can help to address some of the most challenging and complex issues affecting children, families, and communities. These partnerships are truly advancing health in America.”

The Healthy Kids Express Asthma outreach team includes a nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker, asthma coaches, and community health educator, serving the St. Louis area. This dynamic group takes a mobile health unit, free of charge, focusing on underserved schools in ZIP codes with elevated asthma prevalence and high hospitalization or emergency room visits (14 schools across five districts). The program emphasizes empowering children to manage their health challenges, encouraging parents to participate in shared decision making, and educating staff and school nurses.

The team also advocates for political and public policy issues to improve the lives of children who have asthma. Their advocacy entails changing state legislation and developing tools for school nurses to improve asthma and food allergy management. 

Healthy Kids Express Asthma provides direct services to over 450 children and offers education and information to nearly 4,500 family members and teachers per year. This unique Asthma program is made possible through the generosity of donors to St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation, including The Bellwether Foundation, Cigna Foundation, Emerson, Express Scripts Foundation, William R. Orthwein Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation, and The Saigh Foundation.

“The NOVA Award is an honor and testament to the diligent work the team delivers throughout St. Louis to improve the health of children,” said Joan Magruder, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and group president of BJC HealthCare. “Providing this free service is designed to improve children’s access to health care and ultimately lead to both more time in the classroom for students and a better understanding of their health needs.”

Established in 1993, the AHA NOVA Award recognizes hospitals and health systems for their collaborative efforts toward improving community health. The other 2018 winning programs and hospital partners are:

  • Unity Center for Behavioral Health - Adventist Health, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, and Oregon Health & Science University – Portland, Ore.
  • Annapolis Community Health Partnership - Anne Arundel Medical Center – Annapolis, Md.
  • Enos Park Access to Care Collaborative - HSHS St. John’s Hospital and Memorial Medical Center – Springfield, Ill.
  • Kids Teaching Kids - Medical City Healthcare – Irving, Texas 

More information on the AHA NOVA Award can be found at and details on Healthy Kids Express can be found on the St. Louis Children's Hospital website.. 

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