AIR Louisville is thrilled to announce a $25,000 donation from the American Lung Association in Kentucky. This gift from the local chapter of the national organization will allow us to expand our community asthma program by adding 125 more people.
“This gift will allow us to reach many more people living with asthma in Jefferson County,” said Veronica Combs, director of community engagement for AIR Louisville.
AIR Louisville is distributing sensors to people in Jefferson County who have asthma. Propeller Health's FDA-approved sensor fits on top of an inhaler and tracks when, where and how often a person takes a dose of medicine. Having an electronic record of this data helps individuals and their doctors better understand asthma triggers.
AIR Louisville is a collaboration between the Institute of Healthy Air Water and Soil, Propeller Health and the City of Louisville. Kentucky has the fourth highest rate of adult asthma in the US, and Louisville consistently ranks among the top 20 "most challenging" cities to live in with asthma.
This grant marks a new partnership between the American Lung Association in Kentucky and the Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil. The two groups will work together to track air quality and help citizens – especially people living with asthma and COPD - understand the link between health and air quality.
The Community Foundation of Louisville is the fiscal sponsor of the Institute and helped to connect Barry Gottschalk, the CEO and President of the American Lung Association in Kentucky, and Ted Smith, the executive director of the Institute.
“We are proud to bring together two Louisville organizations doing important work to make everyone healthier,” said Susan A. Barry, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville. “This is a great example of how we connect donors who want to support innovative work, with non-profits who want to reach as many people as possible.”
Gottschalk said that he decided to make this generous contribution to AIR Louisville because the program supports the ALA’s goal of improving air quality and helping people living with asthma and other breathing problems. In the ALA’s annual State of the Air Report released just last week, Louisville was ranked as the 28th most polluted city in the nation.
“Although we have made steady improvements in cleaning up our air since the first State of the Air Report 16 years ago, there is still a lot of work to be done,” Gottschalk said. “The American Lung Association in Kentucky looks to support new approaches such as AIR Louisville to improve our air quality and help people living with asthma and other breathing problems.”
The effort also will help the city gather data about air quality and make smarter decisions about how to improve our environment. The AIR Louisville program will collect data for a year from sensors attached to asthma inhalers. Analyzing this data will help the city create a map of asthma hotspots in Jefferson County.
The program is funded by a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.