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American Lung Association of Mississippi


The mission of the American Lung Association is to prevent lung disease and promote lung health.

The American Lung Association of Mississippi (ALAM) was founded in 1914 to provide services and programs for better lung health for all Mississippians. Originally organized as the Mississippi Tuberculosis Association, dealing strictly with tuberculosis treatment, education and patient services, the association has taken an expanded role to encompass all lung, pulmonary, respiratory diseases and conditions.

Asthma Camps

The American Lung Association of Mississippi partners with Baptist Health Systems and Northwest Regional Tupelo to provide two special weeklong summer camps designed for Mississippi children, ages 8-12, diagnosed with moderate to severe asthma. The camps provide a fun, educational, experience for children who are not able to attend “typical” summer camps. Campers receive needed attention from medical professionals and educators experienced in asthma patient care and education. The goal is to provide a safe, camp environment for children, improve their asthma self-management and control, and improve their self-confidence by incorporating education into all camp activities.

“My daughter has been to camp once and it was a great experience for her! She learned how to better manage her asthma and to improve in her medication techniques. She met new friends and did many asthma educational activities. She had so much fun that she came home talking about it everyday,” said a camper’s mother.

Who is eligible for camp?

  • Camp Wheez-Away: Mississippi children, ages 8 – 12,
  • Camp Breathe Ezzzze: Mississippi children, ages 6-12

Asthma Coalition of Mississippi

The Asthma Coalition of Mississippi (ACM) strives to eliminate asthma among Mississippians by promoting education, prevention and management of asthma throughout the state.

Calendar of Events

North and central Mississippi’s Asthma Coalitions will meet as scheduled in September. Please call or Jennifer Cofer, jcofer@alams.org to RSVP. Call 601-206-5810, ext. 30.

ACM Goals

The Coalition is divided into 9 regional districts that work to achieve 6 main goals:

  • Reduce Asthma Hospitalization rates among children and adults
  • Decrease Asthma disparities in all Public Health Districts
  • Reduce burden of Asthma on Mississippians
  • Increase provider and patient education related to Asthma
  • Develop a standard patient-specific Asthma Action Plan
  • Enhance Community Health Education

The ACM regional coalitions first project is to write Mississippi’s Statewide Plan for Asthma.

Where do you fit in the asthma coalitions?

  • School Health
  • Community
  • Healthcare
  • Environmental
  • Data/Surveillance
  • Advocacy/Policy

Partners of the Asthma Coalition of MS and the Statewide Asthma Plan

  • The Partnership for a Healthy Bolivar County
  • The Partnership for a Healthy Delta
  • The Partnership for a Healthy Golden Triangle
  • The Partnership for a Healthy Holmes & Carroll Counties
  • The Partnership for a Healthy Jackson County
  • The Partnership for a Healthy Hancock County
  • The Partnership for a Healthy Harrison County

Asthma Program

  • District IV
  • District V
  • District VIII
  • District IX
  • Health Services Data Unit

Mississippi State Department of Education

  • UMC, Department of Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology
  • UMC, School of Pharmacology; Pharmaceutical Care Asthma Clinic

University of Southern Mississippi – College of Health and Human Sciences; Center for Community Health Sciences

  • Gulf Coast Children’s Clinic
  • McComb School District
  • American Cancer Society
  • W.A.T.C.H./Bellsouth Pioneers
  • Hancock Medical Center
  • Thrift Home Care
  • MSU Extension Service
  • Choctaw County Medical Center
  • Beacham Memorial Hospital
  • Oak Grove High School
  • Southern Pharmaceuticals, Oxycare on the Gulf Coast
  • Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals

Leadership Team

  • Marilyn Beach – Executive Director, MS Alliance for School Health
  • Mary Helen Conner – Special Projects Coordinator, Information and Quality Healthcare (IQH)
  • Erik Fleming – Mississippi House of Representatives
  • Tanya Funchess – Division of Tobacco Prevention and Policy, MS State Department of Health
  • Dr. Sitesh Roy – University Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Allergy and Immunology
  • Sandra Shelson – Executive Director, The Partnership for a Healthy MS
  • Joyce Vaughn – School Nurse Director, Office of Healthy Schools, MS Department of Education
  • Laurie Walters – Asthma Program Manager, MS State Department of Health
  • Chairs from each regional ACM – TBA

Statewide Asthma Plan

The Mississippi State Asthma Plan is a statewide effort to bridge to the gap and ensure that people with asthma across the state have access to asthma information, care, and services. The plan will minimize duplication of effort and maximize resource use.

Who can use and implement the state asthma plan?
Asthma partners (coalition members, etc.) will implement specific portions of the state plan because of their own interest in asthma.

Are their state plans for other diseases in Mississippi?
Yes. There are state plans written for Arthritis, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke, and Tobacco. Please visit the Mississippi Department of Health web site for more information: www.msdh.state.ms.us.

Certified Asthma Educational Institutes

About the CA-E program

The National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) supports proper asthma management and quality of life among asthmatics, their families and communities, by improving asthma education through the certified asthma educator process.

By receiving Asthma Educator Certification, one becomes an official asthma educator. Asthma educators are experts in counseling asthmatics and their families on how to manage their asthma and to minimize its effect on their quality of life. In order to be eligible, candidates must either be a licensed or credentialed health care professional or provide asthma education, counseling, or coordinating services with a minimum of 1,000 hours experience in these activities.

Register online at www.naecb.org and click on exam information and registration; or register by phone at 913-541-0400. Registration costs $275. Repeat examination is $150, and recertification by examination $275.

Coaches Care

Coaches Care is an asthma program to educate Mississippi coaches and others who supervise athletic activities on asthma symptoms in their student athletes. The program educates coaches on the dangers of asthma and helps athletes reach their athletic potential without endangering their health. Qualified asthma and allergy medical professionals present a program to attendees that alert them of warning signs and how an asthma attack presents itself during physical activity.

Coaches come to terms with these facts:

  • Mississippi children experience a higher rate of asthma than children in other states.
  • Asthma is the #1 reason children miss school, which affects their ability to perform both scholastically and athletically.
  • Undiagnosed asthma on an athletic field can be life threatening.
  • “I would recommend this program because many of us have old ideas and still have the ‘suck it up attitude,’ said Casey Hamilton, coach at Madison Avenue Lower Elementary. “With the increase in asthma, we all need to know how to recognize and take appropriate actions to avoid endangering our students.”

Mrs. Claus has a cause

Mrs. Claus has a Cause is a tobacco awareness program designed for first grade students in Mississippi public and private schools. A volunteers, dressed as Mrs. Claus, reads the story of Bizzy Bubble’s, Santa’s littlest elf, efforts to get Santa to quit smoking his pipe.

This program was started because Santa is often depicted smoking in children’s storybooks, coloring books and comic strips. In this special Christmas story, Santa is made aware of the role model he is setting for children. He learns that children want him to quit smoking his pipe and support clean air and lungs. Bizzy becomes the hero in the story as he teaches Santa to blow bubbles out of his pipe rather than smoke.

If you are interested in bringing this program to your school during this year’s Christmas season, contact the American Lung Association® of Mississippi


Are you a health care professional?

Do you need to be recertified?

The American Lung Association of Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Health are now partners in the fight against tuberculosis in Mississippi.

  • Tuberculin skin test curriculum includes certification and 7.4 contact hours of nursing continuing education.
  • The course is designed for health care professionals, both public and private, who administer and read tuberculin skin test results.
  • Heath care professionals are required to be recertified every five years.

Support ALAM


Health Fair Ambassador

Represent the American Lung Association® of Mississippi at health fairs and conferences; staff a table, answer questions, smile and be friendly

Office Volunteer

Works in the American Lung Association® of Mississippi office; answer requests for information, prepare mail, make copies, etc

Asthma Educator

Teach children with asthma how to manage their disease with “Open Airways for Schools” curriculum

Smoking Cessation Facilitator

Help smokers quit by leading them through our smoking cessation programs

Fundraising Event Volunteer

Depending on the event, register walkers, decorate for a benefit dinner, address envelopes or hand out T-shirts

Advocacy Volunteer

Communicate to your community about the importance of lung related legislation; learn how to effect policy change at both state and federal levels


Receive college credit through ALAM’s internship program. Call the American Lung Association® of Mississippi at 1-800-586-4872 for details

Other ways to support ALAM:

  • Buy a 2007 Golf Privilege Card®
  • Buy one for $25, or buy 3 and get one free! See the Golf Privilege Card® section of this web site for details and complete list of participating courses.
  • Don’t trade it, donate it!
  • Donate your used car or truck to the American Lung Association® of Mississippi and we will arrange to have it picked up for free. It’s easy, convenient and you may be eligible for a tax deduction as well.
  • Make a General Donation
  • To make a one time or monthly donation to help the American Lung Association® of Mississippi continue helping Mississippians, please call us at 601-206-5810 or toll free at 1-800-LUNG-USA.
  • Give a Memorial or Expressive Gift
  • When someone passes away, consider sending a contribution to the American Lung Association® of Mississippi. Your memorial gift will have important lasting impact. We will send a prompt acknowledgment card to the family of the deceased andyou will receive verification from the American Lung Association of Mississippi acknowledging your gift. Gifts may also be made in observance of someone’s birthday, anniversary, recovery from an illness, quitting smoking or other special occasions. Call to make a contribution or download the memorial donation and send to the American Lung Association® of Mississippi.
  • Include the American Lung Association® of Mississippi in your will
  • When considering your estate plans, consider including the American Lung Association® of Mississippi in your plans. Simply have your attorney include one sentence in your will stating: “I give and bequeath to the American Lung Association® of Mississippi the sum of _ dollars to be used for its general purposes”- or other wording of your choice. Contact ALAM for more information.

Certified Asthma Educator Course

About the Course

This course is designed to assist health care providers who are involved with asthma education in preparing for the Asthma Educator Certification (AE-C) Examination. The course will highlight key points from the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) Exam Content Matrix. An overview of effective study strategies and test taking techniques will be provided. The content of this course is based on the content outline of the NAECB examination and will assist the participants in recall, application, and analysis as it relates to specific areas of the examination. Participants can use the information from this course as a foundation to begin their self-study preparation for the AE-C exam. Classes in Mississippi are offered through a partnership with the Mississippi Department of Health’s asthma program.


The NAECB is a voluntary health certifying board created with a primary purpose to prepare and conduct examinations for certification of asthma educators. The American Lung Association is a founding stakeholder and sponsor of this organization in the United States working on a national certification process for asthma educators. Preparatory courses are not endorsed by the NAECB, nor is attendance in such a course, a guarantee for passing the exam.

For more information about the NAECB, testing eligibility and registration, visit their website at www.naecb.org.

Who Should Attend this Course?

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory Therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Health Educators
  • Social Workers
  • Anyone who provides asthma education

Participants will receive:

  • The latest research on the pathophysiology and contributing factors towards asthma including airway remodeling, infant lung function, and geriatric assessment of asthma.
  • Cutting edge information on asthma management and education including: updates on guidelines, new medications and delivery devices, and current research.
  • Specialty topics including alternative diagnosis, cultural considerations, learning and behavioral models for chronic illness management.
  • Program development and outcome monitoring.
  • A professional networking environment.
  • Registration
  • Registration forms are available online or in paper format. Registration is limited to 40 people at each location and will be on a first-come first-serve basis. The registration deadline will be ten (10) days prior to the selected course date. The registration fee for the course is as follows:
  • $100- Non-coalition members
  • $75- Asthma Coalition members
  • $50- Students

Registration Fee includes:

  • Continuing Education Hours
  • Resource Materials
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Continental Breakfast, lunch, and snack both days.

Schedule of Topics
-Pathophysiology of Asthma
-Acute/Chronic Asthma
-Patient and Family Assessments/ Education
-Communication/Interviewing Skills
-Asthma Management: Medications and Devices
-Pharmacology and Delivery Devices (Demonstrations)
-Management Plan Development
-Organizational Issues
-Test Taking Strategies

Better Breathers Club

Better Breathers offers a support group to those with respiratory disease and their families. Better Breathers is a social gathering of people interested in understanding and living with chronic lung disease on a daily basis. Meetings are free, enlightening and fun. Area professionals speak on topics related to lung disease (medications, treatments, therapies, etc.).

Better Breathers allows participants to share experiences, learn about management of their diseases, products and medical facts and issues that affect their quality of life. To start a Better Breather meeting in your area please click here (link to page at bottom) or call 1-800-586-4872. The American Lung Association® of Mississippi co-sponsors two other Better Breather groups in Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast.

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