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  • FY15 Annual Report Health Education

FY15 Annual Report Health Education

Each year millions of American lives are touched by lung disease. When they turn to the American Lung Association, we're there to help, with the tools and information they need to learn more, fight back and take control of their lives.

Living with lung cancer can be a daunting challenge. To help ease the burden, we have continued to build our digital lung cancer resources. We added unique videos and downloadable worksheets covering what patients can expect from chemotherapy, radiation, surgery and palliative care. Our new Lung Cancer Action Guide site allows users to select where they are in their lung cancer journey and be connected with targeted Lung Association resources.

With support from the CDC, the Lung Association has developed a number of tools to ensure that students with asthma have access to their medication in school. Through an Issue Brief, an Interactive Learning Module, a Model Policy For School Districts on Stock Bronchodilators, and a Student Readiness Tool (to determine if they are ready to carry their own quick-relief inhaler), the Lung Association is helping to reduce the number of asthma emergencies at school.

The American Lung Association has helped hundreds of thousands of smokers become smokefree through our proven smoking cessation efforts. This year, the Lung Association partnered with Pfizer to launch Quitter's Circle: an online community and mobile app designed to help smokers face common obstacles associated with quitting through educational, social and financial support. Within a few clicks, users can start a quit team with friends and family, personalize a quit plan and track progress, and find resources to connect with a healthcare provider.

Also through our work with the CDC, we have been working to help adults better manage their asthma while at work through our Guide to Safe and Healthy Workplaces, Guide to Controlling Asthma at Work and Asthma Basics an interactive, online learning module.

The Expanding Smokefree Communities project, funded by the CDC's Community Transformation Grants (CTG) project enabled the Lung Association on to fund programs in 11 communities focusing on strategies like smokefree multi-unit housing, tobacco-free schools and cessation system changes in clinics and mental health facilities. In partnership with the Chartered Lung Associations, we were able to protect over 415,000 people from the impact of tobacco use.

The lung health experts at our Lung HelpLine (1-800-LUNGUSA) helped nearly 136,000 callers, at no charge, answering questions about lung disease symptoms and treatments, tobacco cessation and much more.

Health Education programs at work in the community.

Learn how the City of Long Beach used our adult asthma education program, Breathe Well, Live Well: The Guide to Managing Asthma at Home and Work, to create a successful in-home management program for adults and seniors.

Inspirational stories from friends and supporters of the American Lung Association

Beverly Lewis – A Survivor Grateful for Support

Better Breathers gives you the opportunity to discuss what you are going through and hear if anyone else experiences similar issues.

Native Floridian Beverly Lewis has seen a lot in her 60 years. She's studied nursing, done hydraulic assembly work, worked at an airport, and worked for the county and the state of Florida. When she was diagnosed with COPD, she found support with the American Lung Association.

Because of a gap in her medical insurance, Beverly visited a public health clinic when she started experiencing breathing problems in 2000. She was told she had emphysema, but there was no additional follow up or support. It wasn't until 2008 that Beverly decided to visit a pulmonologist, received a spirometry test and was properly diagnosed with COPD.

Beverly learned two important things: She needed to take an active role in her healthcare, and she needed to find a source of support and information. She found that support through an American Lung Association Better Breathers Club. At this monthly support group, she found a community of people with similar experiences she could share with and learn from.

"Better Breathers gives you the opportunity to discuss what you are going through and hear if anyone else experiences similar issues," says Beverly. "We discuss new medications, procedures, things to ask your doctor and most importantly, give each other encouragement. And, of course our facilitator from the Lung Association, Andy Cuddihy is fantastic!"

This support community has been especially important to Beverly since she was also diagnosed with lung cancer, and had successful radiation therapy in 2014. Recently, she had the opportunity to share her experiences as a lung cancer patient as a participant in our LUNG FORCE Patient Panel in Fort Lauderdale.

"You've got to do your research, take control, and see a specialist, like a pulmonologist," Beverly shared at the patient panel. She also stresses the importance of attitude. "Stay positive. Don't blame yourself or feel sorry for yourself," she says. "I may not be able to add years to my life, but I can add life to my years!"

The American Lung Association has a wealth of information and support for lung disease patients and their caregivers, including our free Lung HelpLine: 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872). Staffed by experienced registered nurses, respiratory therapists and certified tobacco treatment specialists, the Lung HelpLine provides reliable and helpful information, and access to local resources for your lung health needs.


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