Can your community count on you?

April 10, 2017

Can your community count on you?

Dr. Dowling and staff at an asthma screening.

As spring weather rolls in, many people with undiagnosed allergies and asthma suddenly find themselves miserable. You can step in to help offer relief by coordinating a free allergy and asthma screening with the Nationwide Asthma Screening program, sponsored by Teva Respiratory.

College members who have participated in the screening program have found it to be important and rewarding. “By conducting a screening in your community, you play an important part in the College’s nationwide effort to raise awareness about asthma, allergies, and EIB, and the role allergists play in treatment. The screening also provides an opportunity to give back and increase your visibility in your community,” said Jerald Koepke, MD, FACAAI, who has been participating in the program since 2002.

It also gives you a chance to connect with your community – and your staff. “In the almost twenty years I have been participating I have met some amazing people,” said Paul Dowling, MD, FACAAI. “These people are all so grateful that someone cares about them and wants to help. It's also had an unexpected effect of "team building" for us here at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics. We have a core group that have an interest in helping people with asthma and this has given us a common interest and purpose. We have new staff volunteering each year, but we still have a core that have stuck together for many years and get excited about working together on such a great project.”

And, since public screenings are posted to the College website, they have a great turnout. “I usually screen an average of 100 patients. The patients are most appreciative and the screening provides an excellent opportunity to promote lung health,” said Dr. Koepke. “It’s also a fun time to bond with my staff outside of the usual office setting. They enjoy volunteering and take an active role providing information about lung health as well as disease prevention and treatment. I would encourage everyone who is not actively involved to consider participating.”

So, how do you get started? Fill out a coordinators’ registration form to let us know you want to participate. Get help with finding a location and promoting your event to local media with our coordinators’ manual. Then, when your dates and location are set, send us the location registration form. To be a part of the 2017 spring/summer program, send in your coordinators’ registration form by May 31. For the fall/winter program, forms are due August 31.

Once you’re registered, we’ll email you a link to our electronic toolkit, where you can access registration forms, patient education materials and more. Everything can be customized with your practice information and printed in-house. We’ll also work to connect you with a Teva representative who will deliver a kit of promotional banners to you – and if you want, they can provide you with already-printed materials. The only thing you need is your spirometry equipment!

You’ll find that participating in the College’s screening program is worth it. “I would encourage any allergist who has not participated in the Nationwide Asthma Screening Program to do so,” said Dr. Dowling. “You get so much more back than you ever gave…that feeling is priceless.”

Got questions? Send us an email or call 847-725-2266.