Volunteer for studies of lung health, COPD
If you’re a former smoker or are suffering from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or another lung illness, Johns Hopkins’ Breathe Center may be able to help. At the same time, you can help others if you enroll in one of the center’s many studies on lung health.
The Baltimore Breathe Center, originally known as the Johns Hopkins Center for Childhood Asthma in the Urban Environment, was formed more than 20 years ago. The center has evolved to study the effects of environmental factors on lung health and specific lung diseases, according to its website.
The Breathe Center’s name is derived from their descriptive tag line: “Bridging Research, Lung Health and the Environment.” It is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection agency.
Its physicians, residents and scientists adhere to this mission statement: “To lead the way in the research of lung disease and how environmental influences affect pulmonary health. By focusing on quality research and transparent scientific findings, we strive to engage the community through education efforts.”
The Breathe Center is located at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Asthma and Allergy Center, 5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle, Baltimore, Md. 21224, about 45 minutes from Washington, D.C.
Right now, it’s seeking volunteers with COPD for several studies, including one that compensates up to $570 for six months of participation.
In one study now enrolling, researchers hope “to learn about the effects of diet, indoor air, physical activity and other factors on COPD symptoms,” Dr. Nadia Hansel, the center’s director, said in an email.
“There have been many studies about outdoor air and air pollution and how that affects people’s health, but we spend more than 80% of our time indoors, and very few studies have looked at indoor air quality and the effects on health,” Hansel said. “This is particularly important for people with COPD and asthma.”
The Breathe Center’s physicians don’t just stay in the office. The center established the Lung Health Ambassadors Program, which sends physicians to local recreation centers and schools to educate children and adults about asthma, COPD, smoking, secondhand smoke and diseases that can affect the lungs.
In the sessions, students blow up balloons and ask doctors questions about anything from asthma to secondhand smoke.
“We teach them about these effects so they can be empowered to bring that message to their community and families,” pulmonologist Dr. Meredith McCormack told WMAR in March.
For more information about COPD studies at the Baltimore Breathe Center, visit breathecenter.org or call (410) 550-2810 or (410) 550-9646.