The Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition (PVAC) is  a coalition convened by the Public Health Institute of Western MA consisting of health professionals and institutions, community groups and residents, public health organizations, municipal and state agencies, academic institutions, schools, daycare, housing and environmental groups committed to improving asthma and environmental conditions that affect health in Western Massachusetts.  Its mission is to improve the quality of life for families, individuals, and communities affected by asthma in the Pioneer Valley.  

Our Steering Committee which includes representatives from health care, academics, and community groups provides leadership on advocacy and programming.

Springfield improves from #1 to #12 Asthma Capital

Improving in Air Quality and Asthma Outcomes, More Work to be DoneAsthma Capitals NE Corridor.PNG

After 2 years as #1 asthma capital, the impact of living with asthma in the Greater Springfield /Hampden county area has improved, with the new designation of the 12th most challenging place in the US to live with asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. This designation is based on asthma prevalence, mortality, and emergency room use for asthma. This improvement coincides with the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma program and other community health worker asthma interventions in the region, the pandemic, and with an improvement in air quality as reported by the American Lung Association's State of the Air report.

Although still a serious problem that affects many families and communities in our region, this improvement shows that the work to improve asthma outcomes is having an impact. This is good news for our local families and communities! However, there are still questions to be answered about addressing the causes of asthma onset and asthma flare-ups. The data on air quality is limited because it draws on one monitor in Springfield and one in Chicopee. Our new PV Air Quality Monitoring project in collaboration with the cities of Springfield and Holyoke and other partners will collect data from 55 sites in Springfield, Holyoke, and Chicopee and help identify hot spots for poor air quality. The loss of the permit for the proposed biomass plant in Springfield is a win for environmental justice, air quality, and families with asthma. As we see improvements, we must be vigilant to prevent any additional sources of pollution that can impact the vulnerable communities in the region.

Asthma community health worker and healthy homes interventions are being embedded in local health care—including Revitalize CDC’s collaborations with the BeHealthy Partnership’s Flex Services asthma supplies intervention and Holyoke Medical Center’s asthma community health worker/healthy homes intervention. We have to continue to find ways to embed these services and make them standard procedures for people with asthma.

Our work with the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Program funded by the Shift Health Policy Commission grant has also identified policy actions needed to address the challenges renters face in dealing with poor housing conditions in a landscape of older housing stock, widespread deferred maintenance, lack of affordable housing and fear of eviction records.

Let’s keep working to improve the quality of life for people and communities with asthma.    

Here are the reports:

PVAC Steering Committee

Michele Hart, Baystate Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Ana Jaramillo, Holyoke Health Center

Amber Pelletier, American Lung Association

Matt Sador, Baystate Pediatrics

Nico Vehse, Baystate Pediatric Pulmonology

Sarita Hudson, PVAC Director


Sarita asthma award.jpegSarita Hudson Receives Asthma Award

Sarita Hudson received the Asthma Achievement Award for her leadership of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition from the Partners Asthma Center on March 5, 2020 at the JFK Library and Museum in Boston. 

She is pictured here with fellow awardees Anjali Nath and Nathalie Bazil of the Boston Public Health Commission.


Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Program has Launched!

Many asthma episodes are triggered by hazards in the home.  By making your home healthier, you can prevent these triggers and keep your family healthy!  Our team of Community Health Workers and Healthy Housing Professionals will assist you in improving your asthma symptoms with asthma education, home assessment, and if needed, home repair.

In this program, you'll learn to:

  • understand your asthma action plan
  • use asthma medication correctly
  • reduce asthma triggers at home
  • reduce unwanted doctor visits and hospitalizations due to asthma

Our Health Homes Assessor will:

  • Eliminate pests
  • Improve ventilation
  • Repair leaks and remediate mold

Who Is Eligible?

  • Children on Medicaid
  • Adults 55 or older on Medicare
  • BeHealthy Partnership patients
  • High-risk asthma:
    • One inpatient hospitalization or
    • Two emergency rooms visits in the past year
  • Renters and Homeowners

View flyer for more info:

We are doing telephone home visits and virtual home assessments.  For more information about this program, email the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition or call 413-333-9169 or 413-333-9365.

Revitalize CDC Video Highlights Springfield Asthma Program 

On October 20, 2018, Revitalize CDC was honored at the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) for the short video it created for its “Healthy Homes” asthma home visiting program.  RCDC’s submission was part of a competition by MACDC to select a video that best represented the effect of the Community Investment Tax Credit (CITC) from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in communities throughout the state.

$750,000 Grant to Address Asthma

Springfield Healthy Home Asthma Program will expand to serve 150 families in Springfield.

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) as part of their SHIFT-Care Challenge has awarded Baystate Health Care Alliance/BeHealthy Partnership ACO a $750,000 grant to expand the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Program designed to improve the health and quality of life for people with asthma. The HPC’s SHIFT-Care Challenge grant opportunity is designed to foster innovative care delivery models in Massachusetts that shift the unnecessary delivery of care of complex patients from acute care hospitals to more economical, patient-centered, community-based settings.

In the first collaboration of its kind in Massachusetts, two Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) – BeHealthy Partnership and MercyHealth ACO – will join together with community organizations from the greater Springfield area to refer patients for the Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Program’s home education and remediation service.

The intervention includes 3-4 home visits for asthma management education and support, distribution of supplies as well as home assessment and repair services for any asthma triggers that are identified.  Our partners include:

HealthCare News - Collaboration Receives $750,000 Grant to Address Asthma


  • Springfield Healthy Homes Collaborative includes over 30 housing and health care organizations working to coordinate services to improve housing and health.
  • Springfield Healthy Homes Asthma Pilot includes Revitalize CDC, Square One, Baystate Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Springfield Partners for Community Action and the City of Springfield Office of Housing in a pilot of  Pay for Success Asthma home education and repair intervention
  • Springfield Climate Action & Resilience Planning working with Pioneer Valley Planning Commission,  Arise for Social Justice, City of Springfield departments, residents and other stakeholder to implement the  new Strong, Healthy & Just: Springfield Climate Action & Resilience Plan
  • Hampden County Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program works to educate residents, contractors and provides as well as to support children with elevated blood lead levels.
  • Healthy Holyoke Asthma Workgroup is an innovative community-clinical linkage that includes asthma home visiting as well as efforts to improve asthma management and indoor air quality in Holyoke Public Schools

  For more information, please visit Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition.