Public Relations Success Story

Client

Members of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) provide optimal, specialized care to people who suffer from allergies and asthma—addressing the root causes of their symptoms to provide lasting relief and often a cure.

Challenge

Asthma is a serious disease and the most common chronic disease of childhood. It affects almost 25 million Americans, including 7 million children, with about 4,000 deaths a year. Although the exact cause of asthma is unknown, many treatments are available to control this chronic inflammation of the airways in the lungs. Public education is probably the most important strategy to bring the disease under control.

Action

In 1996, EAI helped ACAAI launch the Nationwide Asthma Screening Program to reach adults and children at risk for undiagnosed or uncontrolled asthma and find them relief.

Teams of allergists conducted local community screenings throughout the country. Screenings are held during health fairs, in recreational facilities and in shopping malls.  Asthma screening is a quick, non-invasive process that includes filling out a questionnaire, taking a breathing test and talking with an allergist. Each coordinator receives a kit of materials with everything needed to organize, publicize and hold a successful screening.

Industry support has been obtained each year since the inception of the program.

Results

Now in its 18th year, allergists are steadfast in their support with over 200 screenings offered each year. Over the life of the program, one-third of ACAAI members have conducted screenings and many participate year after year. More than 135,000 people have been screened and about half have been referred for a professional diagnosis. Media outreach efforts are significant each year, with hundreds of media placements in national and local consumer and trade press.

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