There were tons of highlights at the conference this year. We had our new celebrity ambassador Issac Luke come and share his personal journey with asthma. Our MC Chris Lam Sam presented a segment called ‘Breathless TV’ with our wonderful celebrity ambassador Erin Simpson. Erin also conducted some great interviews with our conference speakers, attendees and exhibitors about their highlights, and what inspired them at the 2016 conference.

Watch the video below or read on to find out more.

Erin Simpson says, “Over 200 people from not only around New Zealand, but internationally have gathered here at the pullman hotel for 2 days and of course the big focus at this conference is to present to you the adult asthma guidelines for the first time ever! But naturally there’s so much happening right now so let’s catch up with some of you amazing people.”

Speaker Dr Terry Fleming says, “I was talking about adolescent health, and the most challenging thing about teenagers is they don’t always want to do what their told! When it comes to asthma, taking their medication isn’t necesarrily the top priority, you need to understand what else is going on in their life and get the asthma medication to fit with that.”

Mikayla Madden-Snoad spoke about her food allergies. She says, “It’s important for everyone to try and include us, even though we can’t eat the same things as them. To try and make sure that we don’t feel left out.”

Speaker Dr David Martin says, “I’m hoping that people will understand that genetics are important, we need to consider both genes and environment when looking for the risk of these diseases, and the genetic components are going to be different in different populations.”

Down at the networking hub, Cassandra from Rex Medical says, “It’s been really great seeing all the nurses and all the people that work with the patients.”

Steven Scrivens from McLaren Medical says, “The conference is a great place to meet not only new customers, but existing customers.”

Professor Bob Hancox who travelled all the way from Otago says, “It’s a really important conference and a great thing for New Zealand.”

One of our keynote speakers, Professor Jeroen Douwes says, “I was focusing on environmental risk factors for asthma, as well as environmental risk factors that may protect against asthma. I think that’s the most important part is how we can find out more about what protects children from developing asthma to try and reduce the very high burden and risk of asthma in New Zealand.”

Dr Stefano Del Giacco, also one of our keynote speakers who came over from Italy says, “It’s been demonstrated that allergies play a fundamental role in severe asthma so allergy patients are at higher risk.”

Respiratory nurse, Julia Hince says “I came to conference last year, and I had a great time. I learnt so much that I took back to work. Lots of interesting ideas, lots of interesting stuff I want to do some further research on.”

Callum Johnstone from GSK says, “My favourite part of the conference was listening to Professor Innes Asher speak about the Child and Adolescent Guidelines. I think it’s going to provide a nice direction for paediatric asthma in the future.”

Speaker Dr Glenis Mark who presented about Rongoā Māori healing and how it can be incorporated into Western medicine says, “Healers and patients are really interested in looking at healers and doctors working together and collaborating. Exploring those issues is really important for future improved health treatment.”

Respiratory nurse, Margaret Matchett says, “The genetic pool and the new look on that, that was really interesting.”

Susan Reid spoke about engaging patients and whānau in the practice. Susan says, “I used the song ‘We can work it out’ because I think it’s got messages in there about saying if you don’t listen to me and really ask me about myself, and about things that are important to me, then we’re going to miss each other.”

Our conference MC Chris Lam Sam says, “The main highlight that stands out for me today, is that I’m in a room of 200 people that are committed to keeping kids safe through their respiratory health and also through their allergy health. I go into schools, I work with kids telling them about how to manage their asthma a lot easier, and for me to be in a room with 200 others who are trying to get out there and empower communities and keep people safe, for me has been a real highlight.”

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