Free community events offer resources on asthma care and prevention
The statistics around asthma are startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 million Americans have the disease, including 5.5 million children. To help educate and inform families and the community about asthma care, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) invested $10,000 to establish at least two free asthma health fairs in Philadelphia.
The first community fair was held October 26 at the Beckett Life Center near Temple University. Independence joined with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET), and Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta to host the event, which included:
- Home evaluations from the Community Asthma Program
- Low interest loan information from Clarifi
- Safe cleaning product information from CEET
- Samples from the City of Philadelphia’s Healthy Homes Program
- Cleaning supply kits from AmeriHealth Caritas
Dr. Victor Caraballo, Independence vice president of Quality Management, participated in the event and shared: “Independence has been a trusted leader in the community for more than 80 years, and we remain committed to helping people get well, stay well, and live their healthiest lives. Through our strong, long-standing relationship with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, we have an opportunity to bring vital information about asthma care to the people we serve. We are proud to support their efforts to help the children and families in our city.”
Dr. Caraballo was joined on October 26 by:
- Marilyn Howarth, M.D., FACOEM, director, Community Engagement Core, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, University of Pennsylvania
- Jerry Jordan, president, Philadelphia Federation of Teachers
- Arthur Steinberg, chief trustee, PFT Health and Welfare Fund
What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lung’s air passages that causes inflammation and narrowing. There is a wide range of everyday triggers that can bring on an asthma attack. Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightening are familiar symptoms of those suffering from asthma.
Typical triggers include:
- SmokePet dander
- Household dust mites
- Cockroaches or rodents in the home
For steps you can take to lessen the impact of asthma triggers, visit IBX Insights.