Westlake, Ohio — St. John Medical Center (SJMC) recently sponsored The American Lung Association of Ohio (ALAO) Cleveland Chapter "Blow the Whistle on Asthma" walk held at Crocker Park. Through events like this, the ALAO is able to increase awareness about asthma as well as raise funds to further research the disease that affects approximately 15 million Americans.
In addition to sponsoring the walk, St. John Medical Center had a group of walkers that consisted of 72 members strong and was spearheaded by team captain Elaine Campbell, who is a Hospital Respiratory Therapist. The Hospital raised $3,500 in donations, which was the second highest amount collected by any team. "The day was wonderful and it was extremely meaningful that St. John Medical Center sponsored such an important event," Campbell said.
St. John Medical Center also hosted a children's activity and a health screenings tent. The SJMC tent included a caricature artist, supplies for children to design their own frames, as well as various raffle prizes just for children. Health screenings, which were provided by the Hospital's Community Outreach Department, included blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index, and foot and chair side massages.
"It's important that the Hospital participates in events like "Blow the Whistle on Asthma," said SJMC Interim President Cliff J. Coker. "With the help of sponsors and participants like SJMC, the entire event raised nearly $94,000 that will help to further asthma research."
Out of the 72 SJWS walkers that participated in the Asthma Walk, five were members of "A Second Chance," a lung transplant support group. The five lung transplant recipients breathed in air with their new lungs with pride as they walked miles to support asthma.
The members of "A Second Chance" were invited by Lynn Gorton, Pulmonary Rehab Coordinator and Facilitator of "A Second Chance." "Members feel asthma is a great cause to advocate, especially because of their connection with the American Lung Association," Gorton said. "Many of the participants are also in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at St. John Medical Center."
Some participants aggressively trained for the walk and carried their own oxygen in hopes of raising asthma awareness. One of the participants successfully had a double lung transplant in January.
"A Second Chance" began three years ago for people to come together and discuss problems and concerns that often arise pre and post-transplant. About 20 individuals attend each meeting; post-transplant patients are often able to relate to pre-transplant patients and answer questions such as "what is it going to be like?" and "am I going to be able to do it?"
"It's really important to recognize that St. John Medical Center is attempting to expand information to those who are considering a lung transplant or anyone with a lung disease," Gorton said.
The lung transplant support group meets every second Monday of the month at 6 p.m. at the St. John Medical Center Family Health Center, located at 26908 Detroit Road in Westlake. For more information, please contact Lynn Gorton at (440) 250-2042.
About St. John Medical Center: Located in the heart of Westlake, St. John Medical Center has been serving the community since 1981. Long recognized as a leader in healthcare on Cleveland's Westside, the 248-bed facility offers a $10 million improvement in the Emergency Department and recently received a Level III Trauma Center designation. With this designation, St. John Medical Center will be able to treat a greater variety and severity of injuries. St. John Medical Center was also recently recognized as having the only fully accredited Chest Pain Center in Northeastern Ohio. This fall the Hospital will open a Spine and Orthopedic Center to better serve the community. For more information, visit www.sjws.net.