PA student organizing free asthma camp for kids Aug. 2

Nicole Cottle
Nicole Cottle

July 7, 2014 - A physician assistant student is offering a free asthma camp for children between the ages of 6-12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2 on the North Haven Campus, 370 Bassett Road.

"The goal of the asthma camp is to give special attention to each child and focus on the positives of this chronic illness," said Nicole Cottle, the physician assistant student organizing the camp as part of her being named a Paul Ambrose Scholar. "I believe the camp will be a great success for the underserved children of the greater New Haven area."

The camp will include a range of activities, including ones that will teach the children how to manage their asthma, a lifelong disease that causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing. 

The children will learn about the anatomy of their asthma, take part in an obstacle course that guides them to their asthma triggers and receive information about infectious diseases that could affect them. Each child who attends the camp will receive an individualized asthma action plan and other educational materials that will help them manage their conditions. A question-and-answer session for parents also will be offered. 

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 10 million U.S. children under age 18 have ever been diagnosed with asthma; 6.8 million children still have asthma. Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with asthma.

Asthma can be caused by many different factors, including dust, tobacco smoke, dirty air, cockroach droppings, pets, mold, hard exercise, some medicines, bad weather and certain foods. Asthma attacks also can be caused by worrying, over excitement and anger, according to the CDC.

The Paul Ambrose Scholarship Program prepares public health and clinical health professions students to address population health challenges at the national and community level. The program seeks to meet the current and future health needs of the public by providing mini-grant funds to implement a Healthy People 2020 Leading Health Indicators project within a student's community or at their academic institution. Since 2002, more than 500 students from more than 160 academic institutions have become Paul Ambrose Scholars.

Cottle, a registered respiratory therapist, holds a bachelor's degree in business from the University of Utah and an associate's degree in respiratory therapy from Stevens-Henager College. 

Space in the asthma camp is limited. To register, please write to QUAsthmacamp@gmail.com.