Phoenix (May 2, 2023) – The Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) is teaming up with Camp Not-A-Wheeze to help improve the quality of life for children with asthma. The partnership will focus on providing air quality education and resources to children affected by asthma, including those who reside in Maricopa County.
Poor air quality can exacerbate asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. According to the American Lung Association’s 2016 Arizona Asthma Burden Report, Arizona has seen an increase in Emergency Department (ED) visits for children with asthma, approximately 10,800 ED visits are attributed to children younger than 15 years of age. In Arizona, 10.9% of youths suffer from asthma, which is higher than 9.2% national average.
‘Our mission is to help improve the air quality in Maricopa County and provide a healthy environment for our community,’ said MCAQD Director, Philip McNeely. ‘Our partnership with Camp Not-A-Wheeze allows us to support children and families by providing them with resources to learn about what they can do to breathe cleaner air and manage their asthma effectively.’
The Camp Not-A-Wheeze program is an exciting initiative that provides a summer camp experience to children who have been diagnosed with asthma. The program is designed to help children manage their asthma symptoms and build confidence through a variety of activities and educational resources. Camp Not-A-Wheeze is a 100% all volunteer organization, with no paid employees. More than 93% of all camp participants receive financial assistance to attend camp.
Residential asthma camp programs have been shown to improve knowledge of triggers, medication, and management; decrease absenteeism in school; decrease overall medical expenses; decrease emergency room visits and improve asthma medication adherence.
The MCAQD’s Education Outreach Unit will provide STEM Project Kits to the Camp Not-A-Wheeze program. The kits will help expand MCAQD’s air quality education program and teach more students about the importance of breathing clean air.
‘We all want clean air to breathe, however for those living with asthma it can be a daily struggle. Pollutants, pollens, and allergens in the air can wreak havoc for chronic lung disease patients that are poorly controlled,’ said Camp Not-A-Wheeze Director, Alan Crawford. ‘We are thrilled to partner with the MCAQD, to make a real difference in the lives of children with asthma and their families.’
The MCAQD and Camp Not-A-Wheeze partnership is an excellent example of how government agencies and community organizations can work together to improve the environment and public health. MCAQD is committed to continue supporting Camp Not-A-Wheeze program’s initiatives.
For more information about Camp Not-A-Wheeze, please visit campnotawheeze.org.
To learn how you can help improve the air quality in Maricopa County, please visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
Ari Halpert, Maricopa County Air Quality Department [Eng/Spa]: 602-501-1266, Ari.Halpert@maricopa.gov
Alan Crawford, Camp Not-A-Wheeze: 480-593-3588, Alanscrawford@yahoo.com
About Maricopa County Air Quality Department
MCAQD’s mission is to improve the air of Maricopa County so customers, residents, and visitors can live, work, and play in a healthy environment. MCAQD is governed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and follows air quality standards set forth by the federal Clean Air Act. For air quality information and resources, visit CleanAirMakeMore.com.
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