This Mother’s Day, help others breathe easier.

Starting April 1st through May 9th, you can purchase a plant from Thorsen’s Greenhouse and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Breathing Association’s Lung Health Clinic. The very first Mother’s Day in Ohio was celebrated because of the tireless work of our founder, Carrie Nelson Black. In 1911, she prevailed upon Governor Judson Harmon to issue the state’s first Mother’s Day Proclamation, and we’ve honored moms on this day ever since.

In recognition of Carrie Nelson Black, The Breathing Association has partnered with Thorsen’s Greenhouse to raise funds so that we can expand the number of individuals and families we reach. There would be no fresh air without plants, and a Mother’s Day gift from Thorsen’s not only celebrates the mom in your life, it also brings lung charity health care to those in need.

To purchase a Mother’s Day gift, go to Thorsen’s Greenhouse and enter promo code “breathe” at checkout, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Breathing Association. To send a personal message with your gift, type your message under “Notes” at checkout.

Click here to purchase
2023-03-28T16:47:40-04:00March 28th, 2023|Uncategorized|

Highlighting Black Maternal Health Week: Our Bodies Belong to Us

Black Maternal Health Week is April 11-17, 2023, and this this year’s theme is “Our Bodies Belong to Us: Restoring Black Autonomy and Joy.” The ability of Black moms and birthing people to make decisions about our bodies and our health is essential to how we manage all health behaviors and achieve overall wellness. With rising rates of maternal and infant mortality in the Black community, including in Ohio, there is a need to create systems of care that center Mamas’ autonomy and the right to choose care options that align with their cultural beliefs and practices.

The Black Mamas Matter Alliance highlights culturally congruent practices, including access to Black midwifery and Black-led doula care as primary needs for Black mamas and birthing people. Black midwifery and Black-led doulas center Black mothers and babies. By design, they have an inherent understanding of Black bodies and our cultural contexts, they focus on non-medicalized births when possible, and they create environments of active listening and attending to mothers’ needs during pregnancy, birth, and early parenting.

The latter tenet of care translates to other forms health promotion, including nicotine cessation. It suggests the use of comprehensive, culturally congruent models of care that consider a person’s whole life experience.  If for example, a person’s basic needs are unmet, quitting smoking or vaping will be difficult especially if stress is a trigger for use. For Black mamas and parents who are also managing racism- or other trauma-related stressors, but do not have adequate support or resources, quitting will be challenging. Whatever the factors that impact a parent’s ability to quit nicotine must be addressed if they are going to be successful at quitting. As such, we must listen to Black moms and birthing people and respond accordingly.

As providers, we have a wealth of knowledge in regard to our respective disciplines. Many of us have licenses, certifications, and advanced training in our fields. Despite the knowledge we have about health behavior, risks, benefits, and the most effective treatment options, Black women and birthing people are the experts on our bodies and lived experience. As care providers we need to honor that, understand that, and prioritize care that is centered on that. Our bodies belong to us, and we will care for them based on our values, beliefs, and the knowledge we acquire from our providers in making informed decisions.

As you ponder changes you will make in your practice to re-empower Black moms and birthing people to practice autonomy with their health decisions, consider supporting and uplifting Black-owned and led organizations in our community that support birth equity, reproductive justice, and maternal mental health awareness for Black moms and birthing people. The organizations listed below are both local and national organizations that focus on Black maternal health. Support them.


2023-03-28T08:22:56-04:00March 28th, 2023|Dr. Alfred|

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.

2023-03-28T14:16:54-04:00March 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
2023-03-28T14:19:22-04:00March 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
2023-03-28T14:21:46-04:00March 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|
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