Asthma summer camp, help for injured vets and more

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Augusta University’s College of Allied Health Sciences will host its first asthma day camp in two years.

The camp, which began in 2014 and is sponsored by the WG Raoul Foundation, is free for children with asthma ages 6-13.

This year’s session will be June 13-17. Each day will begin with an hour of asthma education as well as checking their breathing with a peak flow meter. Other activities include games, volleyball, hiking and swimming. Lifeguards, physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists will be on hand to ensure illness or injury don’t interfere with the fun.

A parent or guardian must attend a brief orientation and education session on June 11.

“A lot of parents are hesitant to let their kids with asthma participate in sports or go outdoors or even play outside, so the camp is designed to teach children how to manage their asthma, and at the same time, have a regular camp experience, ” said Kitty Hernlen, director of the Health Services Program.

Hernlen said she has received plenty of positive feedback from parents after the camps, with most telling her the children come home and tell them everything they learned that day. She said the education is the most important aspect with this camp, reassuring the children they will be OK with proper medicine and awareness of their condition.

“That also helps pass on to the parents who might not have a lot of asthma knowledge and may have questions,” she said. “The children learn how to manage their asthma and how to figure out what triggers their asthma. To know when an asthma attack is coming on, what to do and what medicines to take alleviate those fears and assess them.”

Hernlen said in the past, there have been 20 to 35 campers at a time. There is transportation from AU to the Columbia County Girl Scout Camp at Camp Tanglewood as well as lunches and snacks.

The deadline to register is June 1.

For more information or to register, email Hernlen at or call 706-721-3554.

Exoskeleton a ‘gamechanger’ for vets with spinal cord injuries

The Indego device is a lower-limb powered exoskeleton that enables Charlie Norwood VA therapists to deliver task-specific gait training to veterans with weakness or paralysis in their lower extremities.(Contributed)

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center is home to one of the leading spinal cord injury care sites in the Southeast, thanks in large part to the cutting-edge technology used by its therapists.

With the recent addition of an Indego Therapy Exoskeleton, the Augusta-based spinal cord injury unit has significantly expanded therapy opportunities for paralyzed and other spinal-cord injured veterans.

“The Indego Exoskeleton is a game changer for both the therapist and the Veteran,” said Dr. Matt Bounds. “It’s customizable to the Veteran, meaning we can tailor a therapy program that is specific to their injuries and rehabilitation goals. Above all, it offers Veterans a measure of independence they might not experience without the exoskeleton.”

The Indego device is a lower-limb powered exoskeleton that enables Charlie Norwood VA therapists to deliver task-specific gait training to veterans with weakness or paralysis in their lower extremities.

It empowers some veterans who cannot walk or struggle to walk to enjoy upright mobility.

Piedmont Augusta receives high safety rating from Leapfrog Group

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Piedmont Augusta, formerly University Hospital, has received its 15th grade of A in safety from the Leapfrog Group.

This national distinction recognizes Piedmont Augusta’s achievements in protecting patients from preventable harm and error in the hospital.

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization, assigns a letter grade to general hospitals across the country based on over 30 national performance measures reflecting errors, accidents, injuries and infections, as well as systems hospitals have in place to prevent harm.

The grade is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospital prevention of medical errors and harms to patients.

The grading system is peer reviewed, fully transparent and free to the public. Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

Hospital auxiliary continues support of Aiken Tech students

Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken County President Allen Radcliffe (front row, second from left)...
Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken County President Allen Radcliffe (front row, second from left) presents Aiken Technical College President Dr. Forest Mahan (front row, second from right) with a $5,000 donation for student scholarships. Also present for the presentation were members of the Hospital Auxiliary board and academic deans for the College’s nursing and health sciences divisions.(Contributed)

GRANITEVILLE, SC – The Hospital Auxiliary of Aiken County has continued its support of Aiken Technical College students with a recent $5,000 donation to fund scholarships for nursing and health science students.

“We volunteer in the medical field and see the activities those in the medical field do on a daily basis,” said Allen Radcliffe, president of the auxiliary. “We feel that we need to support students to get the education they need to be productive employees at local hospitals. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to their education.”

The organization presented the donation to the College on May 2, before the spring nursing pinning ceremony. More than 20 nursing graduates of the Associate in Applied Science: Nursing program were recognized.

Those interested in donating to the ATC Foundation may visit or call 803-508-7413.

Panera cookie sales to aid Children’s Hospital of Georgia

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, is partnering with Children’s Hospital of Georgia through the launch of its inaugural Chip in for Children’s Mental Health campaign.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, from May 9-22, a portion of proceeds from all Chocolate Chipper cookies sold at eight Covelli-owned and operated Panera Bread locations in Savannah, Augusta, Statesboro and Hinesville and Aiken will support this vital initiative.

Chocolate chipper cookies can be purchased online at or on the Panera app.

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