What is ACMA?
The Asthma Canada Member Alliance (ACMA) – formerly the National Asthma Patient Alliance – is the patient arm and voice of Asthma Canada. Created in 2007, it serves in an advisory capacity with active volunteers to further the purpose of Asthma Canada’s programs and initiatives and increase awareness and education about asthma within Canada. Asthma Canada, with the help of ACMA volunteers, aims to provide the patient perspective in asthma research, resources, and policy and strives to improve asthma care and quality of life for Canadians and their caregivers coping with asthma and respiratory allergies.
History of ACMA
Asthma Canada has existed for nearly 45 years and has done so through the strength of it’s volunteers within the asthma community. Canadians living with asthma, and those affected by it, continue to be the focal point of our organisation.
In 2007, several prominent Asthma Canada volunteers got together to create an arm of Asthma Canada (then Asthma Society of Canada) for the sole purpose of raising the patient voice and profile in the national discussion on asthma and to ensure that our work was focused on patient-centred care. This grassroots volunteer program was called the National Asthma Patient Alliance and had it’s first in-person meeting in 2007 in Hamilton, ON.
Today, there are over 2,500 ACMA members across Canada, consisting of people living with asthma, parents and caregivers, educators, healthcare professionals and support staff. Thank you for your support!
Accomplishments of ACMA
Over the 10 years that ACMA (formerly NAPA) has been a program of Asthma Canada, we have seen many incredible milestones.
- Created the Asthma Patient Bill of Rights to empower all people living with asthma and allergies to understand their responsibility to properly manage their disease and lead a happy, healthy life.
- Nearly 200 Asthma Ambassadors have been trained to offer peer-to-peer support and grassroots community outreach on asthma to connect Canadians with our work.
- Hosted numerous patient-centred meetups across the country including in Quebec City for World Asthma Day and Toronto for Patient Breathefast.
- Over $75,000 raised through the Team Asthma program, linking exercise and healthy living with fundraising efforts in runs and walks across the country.
- Created an ongoing patient education webinar series.
- Improved clean air and a healthier environment through advocacy campaigns to push for the elimination of coal-fired electricity generation in Ontario and Alberta as well as federally.
- Improved access to medications in schools for children with asthma, including the passage of Ryan’s Law in Ontario.
- Produced the Best Practices for Asthma Management in Schools guiding document for students, parents, teachers and school administrators.
- Patient evidence submissions to CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health) for new medications and treatments for asthma and respiratory allergies.