Dr. Thomas Houston announces retirement after 15 years of service

Dr. Thomas Houston, Medical Director of The Breathing Association’s Lung Health Clinic and as Tobacco Cessation Training Course, has announced his retirement.

Dr. Houston has an impressive bio as a graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. After a 10-year career in academic family medicine, he directed the American Medical Association’s tobacco control and public health advocacy programs. From 2003 to 2005, he held the Jim Finks Chair in Health Promotion at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans and was Professor of Public Health and Family Medicine. From 2005 to 2016, he worked at the McConnell Heart Health Center in Columbus, where he directed tobacco cessation and policy initiatives for OhioHealth. He was a former president of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, and he is currently Adjunct Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at The Ohio State University.

As impressive as his bio is, it does not signify just how much of his life has been donated to helping those around become better people. He has spoken up for those who could not speak for themselves as an advocate of tobacco cessation, and he implemented the Tobacco Treatment Specialist Program for The Breathing Association to help medical professionals, counselors, and therapists educate others in becoming tobacco free.

Dr. Houston has served as a board member and Medical Director of the Lung Health Clinic since 2008. The Breathing Association is a richer organization thanks to Dr. Houston’s service over the past 15 years. He has left a legacy that time cannot diminish.

2023-03-17T09:43:26-04:00March 17th, 2023|Uncategorized|

March is Women’s History Month: how has tobacco impacted women’s health?

March is Women’s History Month. We celebrate the countless women who have worked tirelessly and bravely for equality, and justice in our Nation. The theme for 2023 is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories”,  which honors women in our past and present who have served as storytellers, family matriarchs, and community leaders and those who pass on history.

As we honor all women this month, it is also important to also consider how tobacco has impacted their health. Smoking is responsible for 80% of lung cancer deaths among women each year, and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women. Did you know that female smokers are nearly 22 times more likely to die from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, compared to women who never have smoked?

It is also important to remember that women and young girls have often been the target of Big Tobacco, with ads targeting them with themes associating various nicotine products with social desirability, independence, weight control, and having fun.

President Carter said in his proclamation declaring March 2-8 the first Women’s History Week, “Too often, the women were unsung, and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed”.  “But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America were as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.” So during Women’s History Month, let us celebrate the women in our lives that not only tell our stories. Let us celebrate the women of the Breathing Association past, present and future who will share the important story of this historic and vital organization.

2023-03-09T08:28:41-05:00March 9th, 2023|Bruce Barcelo|

Running for Better Lungs

Dr. Roy St. John is running the Boston Marathon to raise funds for The Breathing Association. As a pulmonologist, Dr. Roy St. John understands the significance of having strong, healthy lungs. He recently qualified for the Boston Marathon after running his first marathon at the age of 63 and is using this opportunity to help others who are less fortunate.

He has partnered with The Breathing Association to raise funds for vulnerable Central Ohioans to help them breathe easier through support for lung and breathing disorders, prevention programs, energy assistance, and more.

Dr. St. John is the medical director and principal investigator at Aventiv Research and Centricity Research. His research includes numerous Phase 2, 3, and 4 pharmaceutical studies.

“I know how stressful and difficult it is for patients with lung disease to live without proper care and treatment. The mission of The Breathing Association to help those patients meshes perfectly with my training, as well as my desire to serve those less fortunate in our community.”

– Dr. Roy St. John

Help us cheer him on by donating here
2023-03-07T09:27:41-05:00March 7th, 2023|Uncategorized|

Read our latest feature in ABC 6!

The Ohio Department of Development and The Breathing Association is helping income-eligible Ohioans with water and wastewater assistance. The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) started in October 2021 and runs through September 2023.

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) Can help:

  • Income 175% of Federal Poverty Guidelines
  • Utilities must be in disconnect status, shut off, in need of payment to transfer or establish new service
  • Maximum amount for bill payment assistance is up to $750 for water, up to $750 for wastewater/sewage or $1500 for water and wastewater combine

“Sometimes it helps to keep people in their homes because the water bill can be tied to your lease and if you don’t pay it you can be evicted,” Director of Government Programs for the Breathing Association Susan Spiert said. “That can put families out on the street. So, if we can pay the bill, they can stay in their homes.”

Spiert said in 2022, the program has helped pay water bills for 555 Central Ohio Families.

Columbus mom of four, Kiersten Clardy said The Breathing Association helped get her water turned back on this month.

“I am in a rental property and the bill was in my landlord’s name,” Clardy said. “I didn’t realize the bill had gotten so high. I really needed some assistance because at the time, I was attending school, a trades training and didn’t have any income coming in.”

Clardy said she owed $400.

Click here to read the full article
2023-03-01T10:31:04-05:00March 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|
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