One Breath At A Time


One Breath At A Time: Asthma Program

One Breath At A Time (OBT) Asthma Program is a FREE program of Harris County Public Health (HCPH) that helps residents of all ages manage and control their asthma through outreach and asthma self-management classes. The program uses curricula developed by the American Lung Association: Open Airways (6 to 11 years old), Kickin' Asthma (12 to 18 years old) and Breathe Well, Live Well (18 years and older). HCPH fosters partnerships with multi-sector stakeholders to improve asthma-related health outcomes in the community.

To equip Harris County residents with the knowledge and skills to successfully manage their asthma and to reduce exposure to asthma triggers through environmental change and community outreach, One Breath At A Time.

For more information, contact:

Asthma Program
Harris County Public Health
Community Health & Wellness Division (CHWD)
2223 West Loop South
Houston, TX 77027

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 713.274.5758


In addition to the educational component of the program, a home assessment and modification will be available to all program participants that have completed the educational curriculum.

Interested program participants are eligible to apply for the free home assessment and modification. This service is partnered with the American Lung Association and include non-invasive and minor adjustments - such as supplying dehumidifiers, changing air filters, providing green non-toxic cleaning materials, HEPA vacuums, pest traps, etc. - while offering resource guides for more extensive modifications.

What is Asthma?

According to the American Lung Association, asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it harder to move air in and out of your lungs. It can start at any age and can be diagnosed as young as two years old. Asthma can be characterized as a chronic condition of swollen airways, extra mucus build-up, and tightening of the airway muscles. Currently, there is no cure for asthma. However, it can be treated and controlled with the proper tools and knowledge of asthma management skills.

Asthma Burden

Asthma is a major public health issue in Harris County and is known to be one of the most common chronic diseases in children nationally. Harris County has an asthma prevalence of 8.9% with over 96,000 pediatric asthma diagnoses. In 2012, there were 1,173 pediatric asthma hospitalizations with over 52,000 unduplicated claims, totaling over $13 million in Medicaid expenditures in Harris County. According to the American Lung Association (ALA), untreated or poorly controlled asthma leads to high rates of school absenteeism, numerous visits to the emergency room, and/or unplanned physician visits. 

Although asthma is not curable, studies have shown that with the proper knowledge and treatment of symptoms and triggers, pediatric asthma can be adequately controlled with medication and a self-management plan. With recent environmental disasters in Harris County, having a program that addresses how to adequately manage asthma symptoms and reduce its burdens is highly beneficial to the health of the county as a whole.

Program Services

Asthma Self-Management Session Topics

  • Asthma 101
  • Steps to manage asthma
  • Asthma triggers and warning signs
  • Asthma emergency signs
  • Asthma tools and medicine
  • Staying active with asthma and doing well
Open Airways (Pre-K to 5th Grade)
  • Six 45-minute interactive asthma self-management sessions
  • Group discussions, problem solving, and fun games
  • Bilingual curriculum
Kickin' Asthma (6th to 12th Grade)
  • Four 45-minute interactive asthma self-management sessions including smoking and vaping education
  • Grouping discussions, problem solving, and fun games
  • Bilingual curriculum
Breathe Well, Live Well (18 years and up)
  • Three 45-minute interactive asthma self-management session
  • Group discussions, problem solving
  • Bilingual curriculum
  • Must be a student/resident in Harris County
  • Presenting asthma symptoms
  • Participants do not need a medical diagnosis of asthma to participate

The One Breath At A Time (OBT) asthma program works with:

  • Harris County School Districts
  • Community Centers (including libraries)
  • Health Clinics, Centers, and Systems
  • Children Learning and Development Facilities
Program Impact and Benefits


  • Increased participation in school activities
  • Decreased school absenteeism

Quality of life

  • Decreased emergency room visits and need for emergency care
  • Healthy home air quality and asthma trigger reduction
  • Decreased asthma exacerbation
  • Decrease work absenteeism for parents or caregivers