Minidoka Memorial Hospital’s Breathe Program educates children about the dangers of vaping

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 5:53 PM MDT
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RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Stuart Young is a respiratory therapist at Minidoka Memorial Hospital, and he has a passion for educating people about healthy lungs through the Breathe Program.

“The program is where,we take, it’s a free portable lab, teaching respiratory health, respiratory anatomy and physiology, as much as we can to teach all levels of students, typically we do from 5th grade up to college if they want,” said Stuart Young

Through hands on learning, kids in the Mini-Cassia area get up close and personal experience with lungs.

“Typically, first of all I like to show the kids how big those lungs get, I mean this, this is probably a teenage size lungs, kids like to visualize what they would see and the most question I get, are these real lungs, and of course as soon as I say pig lungs, ‘they’re like ew gross,' but this is the closest to our lungs, if you took our lungs out, this is exactly what they would look like,” said Stuart Young.

For the past two years, vaping and smoking has been the primary focus of the breathe program, showing kids what happens to your lungs after damaging them.

“It’s affecting us right here locally, the misinformation is the biggest thing, and not knowing what is actually in the vaping, so we’ve spent the last two years, that’s what our Breathe Program has been is talking about vaping and smoking and nicotine and tobacco and how bad the chemicals are for your lungs,” said Young.

Last week Minidoka Memorial Hospital was awarded a 2020 Health Hero award for their work with the community through the Breathe Program, which, according to Tom Murphy the CEO, is an honor.

“We are also really proud of our team and what they’ve done with the respiratory therapy program, and how Stuart and other members of his staff have gone out and tried to educate the vaping and about healthy intake of good air and good health habits,” said Tom Murphy.

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