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Why I Love Camp Wheez

Feb 22, 2017, 15:56 PM by Myron Liebhaber, MD
Camp Wheez Group Shot
2015 marked the 38th year of Camp Wheez, an annual summer day camp for children with asthma. The camp is provided free of charge each year to children in grades 1-6 with asthma. Camp Wheez has been a special success in Santa Barbara for the following reasons:

1) It creates a friendly atmosphere for young children to interact with asthma educators and learn about their condition in a non-threatening environment outside the physician’s office.

2) It creates a format to develop community awareness concerning young children with asthma.

3) It allows us to identify “high risk” individuals with asthma in order to educate them early in their disease process (as opposed to “sleep away camps”, that enroll them much later.)

4) It allows children who are generally isolated in their own classrooms to meet other children and share their own concerns and thoughts.

5) Most importantly, it allows children with asthma to get together and have fun in a medically supervised environment.

The campers are supervised by high school students who earn community service credits for volunteering. Sansum Clinic doctors and health educators along with other community physicians provide educational services and logistical support, and special guests provide entertainment and fun for the campers. The parents are also involved by attending a workshop at the end of the week where they meet with physicians for questions and answers.

I am the happiest camper of them all because I get to come to camp every year, play with the kids and do some very amateur magic tricks.

Thanks to all the volunteers, support from Sansum Clinic, contributions from special donors and the generous facility contribution by the First Baptist Church on Veronica Springs Road.

Dr. Leibhaber specializes in Allergy & Immunology and is certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He received his medical degree from the University of Arizona and completed a fellowship and residency in Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Diseases at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Leibhaber is a member of the American Academy of Allergy, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Thoracic Society, California Medical Association, California Thoracic Society and Santa Barbara County Medical Society.