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CITY OF LINCOLN   •   NEWS RELEASE   •   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date:
May 6, 2003

For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Cindy Rempe, Community Asthma Education Initiative, 219-8032, 430-0202

MAYOR PROCLAIMS MAY 6 WORLD ASTHMA DAY IN LINCOLN

Lincoln Mayor Don Wesely this morning proclaimed today as World Asthma Day in Lincoln to raise awareness of the dangers of the disease. The Mayor was joined by members of the Community Asthma Education Initiative, a group founded in 1998 to improve the quality, availability and continuity of asthma management in Lancaster County.

More than 112,000 Nebraska citizens have asthma. Nebraska ranks second nationally in asthma-related deaths. In Nebraska, the highest mortality rates involving asthma occur in women, African-Americans and those over age 65.

“In addition to the number of people in our community who have asthma, the impact of the disease is also felt by family members, the medical community, schools and businesses every day,” said Mayor Wesely. “Because an asthma attack can hit at anytime, it is a frightening disease for all involved.”

“The Mayor’s proclamation and recognition of asthma’s impact in Lincoln are important first steps in raising awareness,” said Cindy Rempe, coordinator of the Community Asthma Education Initiative, which is endorsed by more than 40 multi-disciplinary health professionals, institutions and interested groups. “Public awareness of asthma and ways to control asthma triggers are some of the best weapons we have to control this potentially deadly disease.”

Rempe said the Mayor’s proclamation is just one of the activities that will ally Lincoln with communities across the world, in recognizing the asthma epidemic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking the lead in promoting World Asthma Day and World Asthma Month activities across the country. The EPA’s goal is to have 500 Asthma Day/Month activities this month.

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