In anticipation of the 2019 CHEST Foundation grants cycle, opening in late February, CHEST Foundation staff sat down with 2017 CHEST Foundation Community Service grant winner, Sharon Armstead, RRT, Director of Clinical Education & Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Respiratory Care at Texas State University, to learn more about her project supporting respiratory asthma clinics in Guyana.
Ms. Armstead’s program takes respiratory care students from her institution on a study abroad trip to Guyana with aims to educate Guyanese student populations about asthma and teach them self-management skills. Additionally, she and her students work alongside clinicians at Georgetown Public Hospital to host a mobile asthma clinic that provides asthma screenings and education for Guyanese students, the first of its kind at Texas State University.
This passion for supporting clinics in Guyana stems from a deeply personal place. “Guyana is my country of birth. I left when I was 14. I came back many years later realizing that I can give back to the county that gave me so much.” Ms. Armstead shared.
“The CHEST Foundation grant opened doors for me that had never been opened before. Members of the community were very open to hearing what we had to say and receptive to the changes we suggested they make in their daily lives. The financial portion of the award allowed me to purchase additional spirometers for the asthma clinic, allowing for a whole new level of outpatient testing and outreach in the community.”
In addition to the impact she and her students have in Georgetown, Ms. Armstead says opportunity provided to her students was life-changing for them. “To watch my students communicate with people in a different country really helps build their confidence as future clinicians.” Her study program received a significant growth in attendance over the past few years. “When we first started doing this study abroad in Guyana, I only had 2 students interested… We took 14 respiratory care students to Guyana in 2017. It’s really elevated this study abroad program at my institution.”
The CHEST Foundation’s grants cycle opens in late February. Visit ourto view the RFPs for our 2019 offerings and see a step-by-step walkthrough of how simple it is to apply for funding! Be a champion of lung health, and secure your research award today!