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Community Advocates

In order to stay up to date on latest treatments, drug discovery, clinical studies and how to manage Asthma every day, brings you frequent articles, points of view and advice from leading patient advocates and experts.

Current advocates

Lorene Alba, AE-C

Lorene was diagnosed with asthma during her freshman year. After a successful career as a chef and restaurateur, she decided to make a career change and enter the world of non-profits. Her personal experience with having severe, persistent asthma that was poorly controlled for several years led her into the asthma field. Now she is a certified asthma educator (AE-C) and specializes in developing curricula and teaching clinicians, patients, and caregivers about asthma self-management. Read more.

John Bottrell, RRT

John Bottrell is a licensed respiratory therapist who also lives with allergic asthma. He has been blogging about his profession at Respiratory Therapy Cave since 2007 and about his disease at Hardluck Asthma since 2010. He has also been a featured asthma and COPD writer for Health Central since 2008. His love of history inspired him to create Asthma History, where he writes about the history of lung disease, which includes asthma and COPD. Read more.

Theresa Cannizzaro, Respiratory Therapist

Theresa graduated from college and became a respiratory therapist in 2004. She has over 12 years of experience with direct patient care in the hospital setting and, as educating the community on asthma and lung disease. She is a member of the American Association of Respiratory Care (AARC) and credentialed by the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC). Theresa has volunteered with the American Lung Association for many years. For the past 8 years, she has served on the medical staff for a summer camp for children with asthma, the same camp she attended as a child. Read more.

Dexter Gajjar-Reid

Dexter is an engineer from London in his mid-twenties. He has had asthma as long as he can remember, is interested in sharing the many small ways it impacts his daily life, and is always keen to find new little coping mechanisms. He also has a sprinkling of allergies that interact with his asthma: nuts, sesame, peanuts, dogs, dust, mold spores… the list goes on. Read more.

Lyn Harper, MPA, BSRT, RRT

Lyn Harper, MPA, BSRT, RRT is the Director of Respiratory Care at White Plains Hospital in New York. In this role, Lyn is instrumental in implementing a comprehensive COPD education process hospital-wide. She is responsible for leading the COPD team that trains patients to manage their COPD through medication, lifestyle adjustments, recognition of flare-ups, and regular visits to their Pulmonologist. Read more.

Patti Henry

Asthma just wouldn’t allow me to “keep up.” Living with asthma changes how I go about my daily life. If there are asthma sufferers out there like me who know no one with asthma, this website is an amazing way to know that you are not alone in your struggle. Read more.

Andrea M. Jensen, CHES, AE-C

Andrea Jensen’s life changed in 2000 when all three of her children were diagnosed with asthma and then hospitalized over the next few years. She did what any mom would do – She quickly began learning more about asthma and how to control it. In the process, she realized that she too had asthma! Andrea is now a Nationally Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), Certified Asthma Educator(AE-C), and coordinates an Asthma Home Visit Program. Read more.

Leon C. Lebowitz, RRT

Leon is a career respiratory therapy professional He is a New York State licensed, nationally credentialed respiratory therapist and has practiced at many New York metropolitan area hospitals since 1973. Currently, he is the Technical Director of the Respiratory Therapy Department at the Brookdale Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, where he has worked since 1988. As well, he is a founding member of the New York Downstate Association for Respiratory Therapists (NYDART, Inc.) for whom he currently serves as Board Member Emeritus. He has several journal articles and one textbook (Respiratory Care Pearls) to his credit. Read more.

Kerri MacKay

Kerri MacKay is a blogger, coach, quantified self-er, and ePatient. A former gym class hater, she now holds a Bachelor of Physical and Health Education. Diagnosed with asthma in 2008 when she was 16, Kerri believes she is not defined by her diagnoses, but rather that they help explain her. Kerri is a Stanford MedicineX ePatient Scholar (2012 and 2014) and is passionate about patient engagement, self-advocacy, physical activity promotion, and storytelling. Read more.

Kathi MacNaughton

Kathi is an experienced consumer health education writer who had a career in nursing that spanned more than 30 years, much of it in the field of home health care. She’s been an abundant contributor and writer on a number of consumer health websites over the past 15 years, specializing in the areas of asthma, allergy, and COPD. She writes not only from the perspective of a healthcare professional but also as a lifelong sufferer of severe allergies and mild asthma. Read more.

Dia Sue-Wah-Sing

Dia Sue-Wah-Sing is a severe asthmatic, ePatient, advocate, and the current chair of the Asthma Society of Canada ‘s National Asthma Patient Alliance. Dia was diagnosed with severe asthma in 2010, following a diagnosis in her childhood. She became interested in asthma advocacy, out of necessity to improve her quality of life. Read more.

Samuel Taylor

Samuel is a recent graduate of Medical Anthropology and French from California State University San Marcos. He is driven by two passions: understanding the systems of foreign cultures and promoting a higher standard of health and wellbeing to his community. Read more.

Kat Tynan

Kat spends her days working as an IT professional in St. Louis, MO. By night she can be found knitting, gardening, or reading. In 2009 while away at University, Kat was diagnosed with asthma in addition to suffering from lifelong allergies. During this time she began blogging about her experiences with asthma and allergies. Read more.

Ashlen Weddington

Ashlen is a journalism student who has also been involved in many aspects of the health and wellness world. She has been teaching yoga for 4 years and practicing for 5 years. She wanted to explore a holistic approach to nutrition, and received her Integrative Nutrition Certificate through UCSD. Read more.

Amanda Workman

Amanda Workman is a wife, step-mom, and a dog mom in South Texas. She finished a double bachelor’s degree at Houston Baptist University in 2009. Despite limited success with getting a firm grasp on her chronic migraine, fibromyalgia, and endometriosis, Amanda completed a Master’s degree in Human Resources. She currently works for a natural gas and crude oil pipeline company. Last year she suffered from a severe respiratory failure which triggered untreated mild asthma to become very extreme. Read more.

Former advocates

Samantha Coule

Samantha lives in the UK and has a degree in economics that sparked a keen interest in social affairs. She previously worked in finance but is now a full-time mum, where she enjoys abstract painting and a wide range of music. She has suffered from Asthma since she was about 9 months old. Read more.

Ann Cuccia, MPH, RRT

Ann is a full-time faculty member in the Respiratory Care Program at Stony Brook University in New York. She has a BA in Biology and Cardiorespiratory Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Read more.

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