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Parents of Kids w/Asthma Urged to Complete Action Plan & Get Seasonal Flu Shot
Back-to-School is Time to Focus on Asthma Management

September 8, 2009 

Portland, Maine - The MaineHealth AH! Asthma Health Program, in partnership with the American Lung Association in Maine and the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, has created television and radio public service announcements to encourage parents of children with asthma to complete an asthma action plan and get their kids seasonal flu shots. The ads began airing in early September.

MaineHealth, a not-for-profit healthcare system of leading, high-quality providers and other healthcare organizations, created the message to encourage parents to create or update an asthma action plan with their childs healthcare provider. The plan, used by parents, children with asthma, physicians and school nurses, details what to do when asthma symptoms worsen. Designed to help parents and their children control asthma and avoid asthma attacks, the plan is part of a self-management approach for people with chronic disease to lead healthier lives by taking charge of their health. 

Seasonal flu shots are recommended in addition to the asthma action plan because the shots may help children with asthma avoid worsening of asthma symptoms caused by flu. Many Maine schools will offer flu vaccination clinics this fall, provided at no charge by the Maine CDC and the Maine Department of Education. The U.S. CDC recommends that all children, six months through 18 years of age, receive annual vaccination against seasonal influenza.

In Maine, 28,000 children have asthma - the highest rate of childhood asthma in New England. Asthma is one of the leading causes of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and school absenteeism for children. Although there is no known cure, there are ways to reduce asthma attacks, including avoiding exposure to asthma triggers and taking medications to keep asthma controlled.

View the television ad here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvJLDzjZoOA

View the asthma action plan here:
http://www.mainehealth.org/asthma

The MaineHealth AH! Asthma Health Program is a community-based program that provides education and training to patients and families, communities, schools, childcare organizations, physician office practices, healthcare professionals, pharmacists and businesses.

For more information about the American Lung Association in Maine visit www.lungme.org. For more information about the Maine CDC visit www.maine.gov/dhhs/bohdcfh/mat.

MaineHealth is a nationally-recognized, not-for-profit group of leading hospitals, physicians and healthcare organizations working together to help make the people of Maine the healthiest in America. Ranked among the nation's top 100 integrated healthcare delivery networks, MaineHealth's member organizations include Maine Medical Center, Miles Memorial Hospital, Southern Maine Medical Center, St. Andrews Hospital, Stephens Memorial Hospital, Spring Harbor Hospital, Waldo County General Hospital, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, NorDx, Synernet, and Maine Physician Hospital Organization. Affiliates of MaineHealth include MaineGeneral Medical Center, Mid Coast Hospital, St. Mary's Regional Medical Center, and Penobscot Bay Medical Center. More information is available at http://www.mainehealth.org/. 

Contact:
Donna Levi, Program Manager, AH! Asthma Health
MaineHealth
541-7566
levid@mainehealth.org

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