OVMC Partners with American Lung Association to Sponsor Statewide Asthma Summer Camp

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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WHEELING, W.Va. – Ohio Valley Medical Center has partnered with the American Lung Association of West Virginia and the United Hospital Center to host this year’s Camp Catch Your Breath. Designed for children with asthma, the camp will be held Sunday, July 22 through Friday, July 27 at Jackson’s Mill Conference Center in Jane Lew, W.Va.

Celebrating its 22nd year, Camp Catch Your Breath is specifically for children between the ages of 8 and 13 who have asthma. The camp is a collaborative effort between the American Lung Association of West Virginia United Hospital Center, Ohio Valley Medical Center, Cabell Huntington Hospital, Camden-Clark Medical Center, Charleston Area Medical Center, and Jefferson Memorial Hospital to provide a fun, educational experience for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a summer camp.

“Children coping with asthma want to be able to do all of the same things as those children who do not have physical limitations,” said Melanie Collinvitti, pulmonary diagnostics lab therapist at OVMC. “This camp provides an ideal opportunity for them to interact with other children who face the same challenges they do. Many of the things we do at CCYB are the same things kids do at any summer camp, but we acknowledge their struggles with asthma, we discuss it, and we work together to provide them with a fun-filled summer experience.”

Collinvitti, who has attended 20 of the previous camps, serves as the education coordinator for the summer program.

A week of activities at CCYB provides children with an increased knowledge of asthma, enhanced self-esteem, asthma self-management skills, and improved physical, mental, and social well-being. In addition to the educational sessions, children also participate in typical summer camp activities including games, sports, swimming, and crafts – all in a safe and healthy environment.

“CCYB is supervised by staff from all participating hospitals, many of which are registered respiratory therapists, as well as junior counselors who are former campers and camp graduates,” said Collinvitti. “As former campers, our junior counselors understand some of the frustrations our campers may be experiencing and are able to work with them to help them cope based on real life experiences.”

Applications are now available at Ohio Valley Medical Center by contacting Collinvitti at 304-234-8897. The application fee is $70 per child or $80 per child if registering after June 22. A limited number of scholarships are available.

Ohio Valley Medical Center, located in Wheeling West Virginia, and East Ohio Regional Hospital, located in Martins Ferry Ohio, are a 340 bed combined organization with over 1,600 employees providing the area’s only comprehensive behavioral and mental health services and board certified emergency services on both sides of the Ohio River.

Melanie Collinvitti, respiratory therapist at OVMC and education coordinator for Camp Catch Your Breath, displays several of the brochures for the upcoming event. For more information about Camp Catch Your Breath or participating through OVMC’s scholarship program, please call 304-234-8897 or visit the website at http://www.uhcwv.org/asthmacamp.