Texas Asthma Camp for Kids kicks off a week of fun and games for children with asthma

Monday, June 11, 2012

About 70 children with asthma are enjoying summer this week at Camp Tyler, courtesy of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler and the Texas Chest Foundation. The youths come from all over East Texas and throughout the state.

Each summer the Texas Asthma Camp for Kids offers campers an opportunity to have fun while learning more about their disease, how it affects them, and how their asthma medications work. They also learn what triggers asthma and how to better manage it.

“If Texas Asthma Camp didn’t exist, these kids wouldn’t be able to go to camp. It makes a real and positive difference in their lives,” said Camp Director Rhonda Scoby. She is also director of UTHSCT’s Public Affairs and Marketing Department.

Held at Camp Tyler on Lake Tyler, four miles east of Whitehouse, the camp is the oldest camp for children with asthma in Texas. Since 1985, about 3,000 children have learned the skills necessary to manage their asthma while at the same time realizing that they could run, swim, and have fun – just like kids at traditional camps.

Camp activities include archery, basketball, canoeing, fishing, riflery, and swimming.

Campers are monitored closely at all times. The Health Science Center provides medical support with a 24-hour, specially equipped clinic staffed by on-site physicians and nurses. In addition, the camp provides valuable training opportunities for respiratory therapist students from Tyler Junior College and Angelina College in Lufkin, who serve as camp counselors.

A fee of $15 is required to register for the camp. The cost per camper for the weeklong camp is $185, plus the registration fee, for a total of $200. Financial assistance to attend camp is available through the Texas Chest Foundation.

For more than 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatment, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. UTHSCT’s annual operating budget of $125 million represents a major economic impact of over $287 million for the Northeast Texas region. Since 2002, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research have been awarded more than $120 million in research dollars. As the academic health science center for Northeast Texas, its graduate medical education programs – with residencies in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities throughout the region and beyond. UTHSCT is also the program sponsor of the residency program in internal medicine at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview.

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