Healthy Hoops Kentucky helps bring hope to kids with asthma through doctors, basketball

No child wants to be on the sidelines during play time. However, it’s an unfortunate fact that children with asthma must often sit idly by while their friends run around.

Countless local kids with asthma have benefited from an annual program that offers support, education, and fun for a decade now. The 10th annual Healthy Hoops Kentucky event will take place at Central High School on Saturday, Sept. 9. The free event is open to any family with a child aged 7-14 who has asthma. You can sign up online or call (502) 585-8429.

Doctors, nurses, and other health professionals volunteer their time to provide information and education to families, and the kids love it – in part because of the presence of Louisville’s Doctor of Dunk, Darrell Griffith.

“Over a 10-year period, I’ve seen a lot of success stories,” Griffith said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “The idea of educating parents, and brother and sisters, has been a really, really great program for the community. It gives the kids hope that they can participate, and be normal, because sometimes when you have asthma you don’t think you’re normal, especially at a young age.”


Healthy Hoops Kentucky to celebrate 10th annual event at a new location: Central High School

Healthy Hoops Kentucky is an event where asthmatic children and their families can learn more about having asthma and other asthma-related conditions, in addition to learning some great ways to get exercise and stay healthy with Louisville basketball legend Darrell Griffith!

Healthy Hoops Kentucky is FREE for all asthmatic children ages 7 to 14 and their families. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, and will be held at a new location this year: Central High School, 1130 West Chestnut Street. Families can register by going online to or by calling (502) 585-8429.

Event features include:

  • In the morning, children and their families will receive a comprehensive clinical screening to evaluate their asthma, a free consultation with an asthma health professional, and nutrition counseling. They will also learn how to lead active lives while managing their breathing, how to use medications appropriately, how to monitor exercise, and how to keep asthma under control. Each family will leave the screening with an “Asthma Action Plan” and tools to keep their asthma under control.
  • Then, after a free lunch, the children will head to the basketball court, where on-court legend Darrell Griffith will lead a team of celebrity basketball coaches in a series of workshops designed to teach the children how they can play the game even if they have breathing issues.

“I’m so excited to be involved in the Healthy Hoops Kentucky event to help these kids and their families,” said Griffith. “The work that we do to help these young people manage their asthma and learn how they can stay physically active has changed their lives.”

Healthy Hoops Kentucky is sponsored by Passport Health Plan, the University of Louisville, the AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership, the American Lung Association, and other local organizations. It is not a requirement to be a Passport Health Plan member to participate in Healthy Hoops Kentucky. For more information, please click here.


Free annual Healthy Hoops Kentucky event helps teach asthmatic children how to manage their condition and stay physically active

HHKYColorlogo2Playing basketball, or participating in any athletic activity, can be a real challenge for young people with asthma. Many aren’t able to participate in sports because the disease stops them cold, making it difficult to catch their breath.

For the ninth year, Healthy Hoops Kentucky is holding an event for children with asthma and their families, providing important health screenings, advice on nutrition and medicine, and a little bit of basketball with a Louisville legend.

Healthy Hoops Kentucky moves this year to Assumption High School on Bardstown Road, where participants will receive health education to help them deal with the disease during the first half of the event. Then, in the afternoon, they’ll be treated to basketball skills lessons with former U of L All-American and NBA star Darrell Griffith, along with several other notable local basketball heroes. Among those expected this year are Bellarmine men’s basketball coach Scotty Davenport, along with a number of other men’s and women’s players and coaches from around the region.

“I’m so excited to be involved in the Healthy Hoops Kentucky event to help these kids and their families,” Griffith said in a Passport-sponsored article. “The work that we do to help these young people manage their asthma and learn how they can stay physically active has changed their lives.”

The event is free, thanks to the generous support of Passport Health Plan, The Kroger Co., the University of Louisville, the AmeriHealth Caritas Partnership, the American Lung Association, and other local organizations. Doctors and other local health professionals volunteer their time to the event.

For more information, please go online to or call (502) 585-8429.


All residents can help clean Kentucky’s air and help asthma sufferers

Insider Louisville LogoSometimes it’s the little things that mean a lot. If you turn off your car while waiting in line at a drive-thru, or while waiting to pick up your child at school, you could help reduce the number of asthma attacks in the city.

That’s just part of the message from AIR Louisvillea grant-funded program that is measuring data from individuals with asthma to help pinpoint areas with the most severe air-quality issues.

“This will help city officials make decisions about how to clean up the air,” Veronica Combs, vice president for partners and programs at the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, said in a Passport-sponsored article on Insider Louisville. “If you can clean up the air a little bit, it can affect asthma sufferers throughout Jefferson County.”

It’s especially important in Louisville, where 13 percent of the population suffers from asthma, higher than national average of 8 percent. And Louisville has been ranked as high as #1 in studies of metropolitan areas based on the number of allergy sufferers.

Click here for more information.

Healthy Hoops Schedules 8th Annual Event to Help Kids With Asthma

‎ilOrganizers of Healthy Hoops Kentucky, now in its eighth year, are bringing some fun into the process of educating families on asthma care and treatment. Healthy Hoops Kentucky incorporates the fun of the state’s most popular sport — basketball — with learning how to manage the disease through the appropriate use of medication, nutrition, monitored exercise and recreational activities, according to Insider Louisville.

Darrell Griffith, known throughout Kentuckiana as “Dr. Dunkenstein” hosts Healthy Hoops.  “I’m honored and proud to be involved in the Healthy Hoops Kentucky event for so many years,” said Griffith. “The work that we do to help these young people manage their asthma and learn how they can stay physically active has changed their lives.”

For the full article from Insider Louisville, click here.  For more information on Healthy Hoops Kentucky, which takes place September 19, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Moore Traditional High School, click here.  Registration is now open!


Pair of Courier-Journal Articles Focus on Key Healthcare Issues

courier jounral 2A pair of articles that appeared in the Monday, May 4, edition of the Louisville Courier-Journal put a focus on some key health issues facing Kentuckians – the increasing number of people visiting emergency rooms, and the new things being done to help Kentuckians struggling to breathe because of their asthma.

In the first, with the headline Emergency room visits rise under Obamacare,” reporter Laura Ungar writes about the results of a poll showing that “three-quarters of emergency physicians say they’ve seen ER patient volumes surge since Obamacare took effect — just the opposite of what many Americans expected would happen.” The article cites a few key reasons for these increases, including lack of enough primary care physicians to handle all the newly insured patients and lack of education about the need for preventive care and other options.

In the second, with the headline Smart inhalers may help find asthma hotspots,” reporter James Bruggers writes about a new study that “used ‘smart’ emergency inhalers to identify possible asthma hot spots in Louisville is moving into a second phase after showing it helped patients better control their illness while exploring ties to local air quality. With a $750,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil is now signing up local companies to equip some of their employees with the Propeller Health emergency inhalers that track location and frequency of their use. Individuals can also participate.” Passport Health Plan is an initial partner in the second phase of this program, called Air Louisville.


Passport Joins Launch of New AIR Louisville Asthma Program

Passport has joined with a number of public, private, and philanthropic organizations to help improve asthma rates around Louisville by tracking when, where, and how often residents experience asthma symptoms and trouble breathing.

The community partnership is made up of the City of Louisville and Mayor Greg Fischer’s office; Propeller Health, makers of FDA-approved digital health solutions for asthma and COPD; the Institute for Healthy Air, Water and Soil; the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Brown-Forman; and local asthma specialty clinics Family Allergy & Asthma.

For more information about the program, go online to or