Asthma Experts Gather at Allegheny Health Network-sponsored Summit to Explore Impact of Air Pollution on Children in the Pittsburgh Region

Dr. Deborah Gentile

The Summit helps us to work with some of the brightest minds in this field to uncover the most effective solutions to address the asthma epidemic.

For the sixth straight year, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) and The Breathe Project of The Heinz Endowments are bringing to Pittsburgh some of the foremost experts on the topic for the annual symposium on the impact regional air quality has on asthmatic disease. “The Air We Breathe: A Regional Summit on Asthma in Our Community” takes place Friday, September 8 from 7:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel.

The Summit is free and open to the public, but individuals interested in attending are asked to preregister at http://pittsburghasthmasummit2017.eventbrite.com/.

“Asthma can have such a harmful impact on the quality of life for all people, but especially children,” said Joseph Aracri, DO, System Chairman of Pediatrics for AHN and the conference co-director. “This annual summit is a great way for us to explore the problem and discuss best practices for addressing it.”

Eric Lavigne, PhD, a senior epidemiologist with Health Canada, will provide the keynote address on the effect prenatal exposure to air pollution has on childhood asthma. His presentation will follow a report from conference co-director Deborah Gentile, MD, about the final conclusions of a years-long study on the relationship between local air pollution and asthma prevalence. Now with the Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology for Pediatric Alliance, Dr. Gentile led the research from 2014 to 2016 while serving as Director of Allergy and Asthma Clinical Research for AHN. The study examined the high prevalence of asthma in communities with industrial point sources of pollution, plus how well that asthma was controlled, for more than 1,200 local students. Her presentation, “Impact of Local Air Pollution on Asthma Outcomes,” starts at 8:30 a.m.

“The results of this study are certainly eye-opening, revealing statistics in our area that far outpace national and state numbers for rates of childhood asthma,” said Dr. Gentile. “The Summit helps us to work with some of the brightest minds in this field to uncover the most effective solutions to…

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