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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA professor receives award for asthma research


Courtesy of UA News

Dr. Lynn Gerald received a lifetime achievement award for her research on asthma. Gerald has served on local and national boards for her asthma research.

Lynn Gerald, health promotion sciences professor and the Canyon Ranch Endowed Chair at the College of Public Health, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society for her research on school-based asthma.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Arizona Comprehensive Asthma Control Plan, approximately 100,000 Arizona children have asthma, and the chronic disease cost Arizonans more than $24 million in direct medical costs, according to the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Doctors like Gerald are looking to cut those costs.

Gerald is an expert in the field of school-based asthma and received the Lifetime Achievement Award through her work in clinically focused school-based asthma programs, such as the ones she runs in the Sunnyside and Tucson Unified School Districts.

“I really enjoy working with children,” she said. “It’s important to see that they receive the care they do.”

Gerald’s clinical studies work to keep school-based asthma care cost effective, while at the same time making sure that emergency medications such as albuterol are readily available for kids suffering from asthma.

“Many children don’t have good access to healthcare and we are able to give them the medication they need,” Gerald said. “Asthma is so common with children and the care and keeping of the chronic disease is important.”

Gerald hopes that students at the UA will become more educated and involved in asthma awareness, and would like students to know that they can help.

“A ton of students are helping out,” she said. “There are two classes in the College of Public Health this semester and both are helping to educate the younger students.”

School-based clinical research is being conducted as a collaboration between the UA and the local school districts. Gerald said she could not have done her work without their help.

“I just want to highlight the fact that the districts are so helpful,” she said. “The schools are terribly underfunded, but they really are incredibly helpful.”

Gerald continues her work on asthma research and has served on many national and local boards, such as the ATS and the American Lung Association. She is currently the principal investigator for the UA Asthma Clinical Research Center.

—Follow Max Lancaster on Twitter @DailyWildcat

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