With a Beach Ball of Epic Proportions, Allegheny Health Network Goes for U.S. Record to Inflate Community Awareness about Asthma Risk

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At the annual EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) inflated what is being billed as the largest beach ball ever in the U.S., measuring 40 feet in diameter and standing some 4 stories tall. The massive beach ball is intended to raise awareness of AHN's efforts to combat childhood asthma.

AHN's record-setting beach ball to raise asthma awareness

Unfortunately, asthma remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in many local children.

As the annual EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta kicked off Friday, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) inflated what is being billed as the largest beach ball ever in the U.S., measuring 40 feet in diameter and standing some 4 stories tall. The massive beach ball, positioned along the Allegheny River on the North Shore’s Great Lawn, is intended to raise awareness of AHN's efforts to combat childhood asthma.

Rates for the disease are significantly higher in the Pittsburgh region than they are statewide and nationally, and Pittsburgh is among the 30 most-challenging cities in the country to live for people with asthma based on asthma prevalence, risk and medical factors. But AHN helps more than 1,800 kids every year so they can breathe, run and play.

“What better way to call attention to the size of the asthma problem in our area – and symbolize the freedom these kids have to stay active with proper treatment – than with a beach ball that is larger than life?” said Deborah Gentile, MD, Director of Allergy and Asthma Clinical Research in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at AHN as she stood in the considerable shadow of the beach ball at Friday’s unveiling. “Unfortunately, asthma remains underdiagnosed and undertreated in many local children.”

The beach ball will remain in place throughout the Regatta until Sunday, August 7, and it features LED lights to glow at night.

About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network, part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is comprised of eight hospitals, including its flagship academic medical center Allegheny General Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg Hospital, Forbes Hospital, Jefferson Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital, Westfield Memorial Hospital and West Penn Hospital; a research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,500 people and has more than 2,800 physicians on its medical staff. The Network also serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
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Doug Braunsdorf
Allegheny Health Network
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