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Family fun fair to focus on asthma

SPRINGFIELD Families living with asthma will be able to take a "fresh breath of fun" at a free interactive and informational Family Fun Fair on May 4 as part of World Asthma Day. Sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, Baystate Children's Hospital and Springfield Partners for Community Action, the event will take place at American International College's Bradley Room, 1000 State St., Springfield, from 5 to 7 p.m. Activities will include asthma-themed Kids Corner games, informational tables and a question and answer session with Dr. Matthew Sadof, pediatrician, Baystate High Street Health Center Pediatrics and chair of the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition, and Dr. Robert Kaslovsky, chief of the Pediatric Pulmonology Division at Baystate Children's Hospital. A free dinner will be provided. The fair is funded in part by the Children's Miracle Network at Baystate Children's Hospital. Asthma, a growing public health problem in the state and especially in the Pioneer Valley, is a chronic disease of the airways that causes inflammation and constriction, making breathing difficult and in some cases resulting in death. Springfield has ranked as one of the most asthma-aggravating cities in the United States. During the fair, there will be a special celebration recognizing two asthma disparities grants that Baystate Medical Center and the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition recently received the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Reducing Ethnic/Racial Asthma Disparities in Youth grant and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Asthma Disparities Initiative grant. For more information about asthma services at Baystate Children's Hospital, visit www.baystatehealth.org.

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