Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best recently partnered with the Northern California Breathmobile®, pledging support and helping to raise awareness for asthma management and treatment in Bay Area children. “My family and I are pleased to work with the Northern California Breathmobile, helping to improve asthma management in children and making it possible for them to lead productive lives,” said Best.
As a child, Best suffered from asthma and has overcome this chronic illness to excel as a football player in college at the University of California, Berkeley and now with the NFL Detroit Lions. Best recently created the Best Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to educate and increase awareness of key issues affecting children, particularly asthma. In October, Best will participate in a charity flag football game on behalf of the Northern California Breathmobile, which will appear on the hit Tyra Banks show, America’s Next Top Model.
“The assistance of the Best Foundation will make it possible for the Breathmobile to help more children with asthma management at schools in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, as well as in the Bay View/Hunter’s Point area of San Francisco,” said Dr. Washington Burns, Director of the Northern California Breathmobile.
Asthma is a major health concern in the United States. Over 25 million Americans (one in twelve) have asthma. Asthma disproportionately affects low-income populations and the disease can be fatal. Patients, both adults and children, become less productive in school and work when they are afflicted asthma. While there is no cure, patients can learn to manage the disease and as Best demonstrates, lead active, productive lives.
The Breathmobile program is an innovative step forward in reducing asthma disparities by teaching low-income populations to manage asthma. The Breathmobile is a 33-foot Winnebago van equipped to function as a mobile asthma clinic, with pulmonary function testing, skin testing, a health risk assessment system and electronic medical records. The Breathmobile makes regular visits to schools (each school is seen repeatedly, every 4-6 weeks) bringing asthma specialists to evaluate, treat and educate patients and parents about asthma management.
A primary contributing factor to asthma attacks is the environment, with air pollution playing a major role. Other elements include substandard housing, lack of access to healthcare, hereditary factors, and socio-economic status.
Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement, Inc. is a nonprofit entity organized in 1995. The Center serves as a friendly, helping hand primarily for the community of West Oakland. For more information, visit http://www.prescottjoseph.org.