Asthma Awareness

asthmaBy Jorge Villalobos
This past Saturday,  the Plaza de Cultura building at the Imperial Valley Expo campgrounds hosted the Asthma Wellness Day event.  The event was focused to inform people of Asthma and other respiratory illnesses that come with Asthma.  It provided several stations to give people a hands-on approach method of learning about Asthma. Through art and physical activities, kids were able to join in, have fun and learn, all at once.
Cynthia Felix, respiratory therapist and a certified asthma educator with the El Centro Regional Medical Center was head of the Asthma Wellness day event.  “It’s a day for families with asthmatics parents, caregivers to come learn more about asthma, how to take care of their family, avoid triggers,” explained Felix. �
“This is actually a part of a grant that the Health Department received, we did three different events, this is the last event that we’re putting on,” states Felix. Felix says that this event has taken a couple of months of preparation. She stated that the first event they had was about becoming an Asthma Educator which was aimed at nurses and other respiratory therapists.  The second event was called “Pace Training,” it was training for doctors which focused more on pace equipment.
Felix says that a lot of different community centers such as the El Centro Regional Medical Center, Pioneers  Memorial Hospital, Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo  came together to form a Asthma Initiative. “The Asthma Initiative was actually started a few years  back, it kinda lost momentum for a few years and last year we kinda wanted to come together again to start doing some more things for the community,” states Felix.
“There is a pretty big Asthma problem in the Imperial Valley, our biggest population with asthmatics are probably from the kids, from I’d say 5 to 18 age range,” explained Felix. ” I think the more they know about Asthma  and the Asthma symptoms I think it’s important to know what triggers the Asthma.”  Felix says that it’s important to know what their children’s triggers are so that parents can do what they can to avoid those triggers. She also believes that parents should know how their asthmatic children’s medication works and to just keep up to date on what’s new with Asthma.
Though the Asthma Wellness Day Event is over, she recommends that anyone looking for more information contact any respiratory therapist, the Imperial Valley Child Asthma program and any of the Valley’s Hospitals.


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