OVMC Sponsors 20th Annual Asthma Camp

Monday, July 26, 2010

Email: jzatezalo@ovrh.org

Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling is proud to be the only area hospital to sponsor ‘Camp Catch Your Breath' (CCYB), a weeklong camping experience for children who suffer from asthma. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of CCYB.

Scheduled for the week of July 25-30, 2010 at Jackson's Mill, West Virginia, CCYB is a collaborative effort between the West Virginia Branch of the American Lung Association and five member hospitals statewide. The purpose of CCYB is to provide a fun and educational experience for children ages 8-13, who might not otherwise be able to go to camp.

"Kids with asthma want to be able to do all of the same things as kids who don't have any physical limitations," said Melanie Colinvitti RRT, RPFT, Pulmonary Diagnostics Lab Therapist at OVMC. "This is an ideal opportunity for them to interact with other kids who face the same challenges that they do."

While at CCYB, campers learn by sharing their experiences, they make decisions about their conditions and they share their feelings about having asthma. In addition to the educational component, the children participate in games, sports, swimming and crafts.

"Many of the things that we do at CCYB are the same things kids do at any summer camp, but we acknowledge the asthma, we discuss it and we work around it," Colinvitti explained. "They can do all of these things. Sometimes they just require modifications."

Collinvitti, who has attended all 19 previous CCYB camps, serves as the Education Coordinator for the summer program.

A week at CCYB will provide children with an increased knowledge of asthma, enhanced self-esteem, asthma self-management skills and improved mental, physical and social well being. In addition, the campers will enjoy a fun camping experience in a safe and healthy environment.

Campers are supervised by staff from all of the participating hospitals and a physician is present at all times. Additionally, medical support is readily available, as the camp director is a registered pharmacist and the counselors are respiratory therapists and nurses. Representatives from the American Lung Association are also in attendance.

Space is limited and reservations are required. There is an application fee of $70 per child, but a limited number of scholarships are available. For more information regarding CCYB or to request a brochure, please call the Cardiopulmonary Department at OVMC at (304) 234-8897.