Rotary of East Ascension, St. Elizabeth Aire Program donate to Central Middle

Rotary Club of East Ascension members and St. Elizabeth team members present peak flow meters to Central Middle School staff on February 26. Pictured left to right are: Robert Burgess, St. Elizabeth Hospital President and CEO and Rotary of East Ascension; Dena Pinell, RN, Ascension Parish School Nurse; Kevin Buckels, Respiratory Therapist, St. Elizabeth Hospital, AIRE Program Coordinator; Jodi Sheets, RN, Ascension Parish School Nurse; Dee LeJeune, RN, Rotary of East Ascension.

The Rotary Club of East Ascension recently received a $2,000 grant to collaborate with St. Elizabeth Hospital and St. Elizabeth Physicians in sharing the Asthma Intervention and Respiratory Education (AIRE) Program throughout the Ascension Parish School System.

The grant is funding an asthma education and literacy project that included the purchase of peak flow meters - small hand-held devices that monitor a person’s ability to breathe air out. Portions of the peak flow meters purchased were delivered to Central Middle School on February 26. Education for proper use of the meters is being provided to the nurses and applicable students.

Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children in the United States. It is also a leading cause of absenteeism. Without proper treatment and support asthma can be life threatening. Health services under the supervision of a school nurse are an effective way to reach school-aged children that might not otherwise receive care.

Approximately 8.6 percent of Ascension Parish children suffer with asthma. Without proper management, children can experience a significant decrease in activity, repeat emergency department visits and high numbers of missed school days. This project is in line to help meet the basic needs of those Ascension Parish children that are most in need.