# of Schools 0
# of Kids Served 0
Project Start 2017

Funders:

CVS Health Foundation


CATCH My Breath is a best-practices youth E-cigarette and JUUL prevention program developed by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health. Implemented in nearly every state across the nation, the program provides up-to-date information to teachers, parents, and health professionals to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about the use of E-cigarettes, including JUUL devices. CATCH My Breath utilizes a peer-led teaching approach and meets National and State Health Education Standards.

To learn more about the CATCH My Breath program, click here.

Project Summary

CATCH My Breath kicked off in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) during the 2017-2018 school year thanks to the grant from CVS Health Foundation. Starting with five schools reaching just over 1,000 students, the program diffused throughout the district by word of mouth and a long-time connection to CATCH physical activity and nutrition curriculum.

CPS teachers were also exposed to CATCH My Breath through several district-specific and state-wide speaking engagements including the 2018 IAHPERD Conference.

At the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, Chicago Public School’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Kenneth Fox along with the Acting Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, Dr. Allison Arwady, sent CPS families a letter alerting them to the growing youth vaping epidemic and underscoring CPS’s commitment to student health. “We are writing to alert you to a growing public health crisis. The health and safety of our students is our top priority, so we are flagging this urgent news on rising concerns about the potential health risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products.”

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Outcomes

Chicago Public Schools led the country in schools per district participating with 23 sites reaching over 5,500 students. The program will continue to grow within the district and be supported by top district personnel.

“CATCH My Breath is a Chicago Public Schools-approved youth vaping prevention program that has been successfully implemented in CPS schools since 2017. The program meets the Illinois Health Education Standards and is supplemental to the CPS health education curriculum. The program is free thanks to support from CVS Health, making it even easier for CPS schools to access.” Eileen Hare, Director of Health and Physical Education


“Including CATCH My Breath in my middle school health program has been great! The program is beneficial in informing my students of the dangers of e-cigarette products and providing them with the skills to resist peer pressure. CATCH My Breath is easy to implement, and given the new developments about these products, it has become very relevant and critical that we inform students and parents about the dangers of e-cigarettes. CATCH is helping us prevent this epidemic from continuing!”

- Martha Carmen - Health and PE teacher at Edison Park Elementary

“CATCH My Breath was very easy to use. I knew I needed to start talking about this, but I had no idea where to start. CATCH My Breath was the perfect foundation.”

- Amy DeRossi - 6th grade teacher at Cassell Elementary

“It was very useful and kids seem to respond well to it. I liked the middle school physical activities section as well.”

- Peggy Dunleavy - Health and PE teacher at Southeast Elementary
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Funders
CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 9,700 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 90 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs.

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