San Francisco Asthma Task Force

sf-asthma task force2

Advocates for Policies to Reduce Asthma’s Impact

Our Mission
The mission of the San Francisco Asthma Task Force is to prevent asthma and to improve the quality of life for people with asthma, especially the underserved, who live or work in the City and County of San Francisco, by the use of advocacy, legislative action and citywide strategies.

Our History
The task force was created when community activists, many of whom were from Bayview Hunters Point, joined forces with the Board of Supervisors to create a citywide response to what many considered an asthma epidemic.  Legislated in May 2001, the Board charged the task force with the responsibility to develop a citywide strategic plan to manage and prevent asthma.

Our Members
The task force membership is broad-based and reflects the diversity of individuals and agencies required to respond to the multifaceted nature of asthma.

Our Work
The task force works with a broad range of city, regional, state and national partners to prevent and control asthma by improving indoor and outdoor environments and promoting proper asthma medical management.  We focus on asthma issues in housing, schools, child care and the medical community.

Highlight of Successes
Because of the work of the San Francisco Asthma Task Force the residents of San Francisco are benefitting from the following:

  • Improved response from San Francisco Housing Authority to address mold work orders in its public housing units.
  • A new Housing Clinic offering free legal advice to tenants of public housing in Bayview
  • A higher standard of clinical care through a network of support for asthma clinical professionals and over 33 Certified Asthma Educators (AE-C) in SF – previously there were only 4
  • Testing processes for reducing the overuse of bleach in cleaning practices
  • At the urging of the task force the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has passed policies to improve the management of students’ asthma, improve indoor air quality (IAQ) issues that affect student and staff health and learning.


  • Reducing exposure to toxic diesel by replacing the old, polluting, diesel school buses
  • Transitioning to green classroom and custodial cleaning products to protect the health of students and staff in schools and child care
  • Implementing the US EPA Tools for Schools Program District-wide to improve indoor air quality
  • Updating data systems to better track and provide support to students with asthma

For questions, more information or to get involved, please contact :

Karen Cohn, MS, CIH, Program Manager


To view our report to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors: Recommendations to Promote Asthma Prevention and Control, click here.

And please visit our website at

(Staff support is provided by Breathe California, Golden Gate Public Health Partnership)