Now in its 24th year, St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky’s (SVdPNKY) annual Summer Breeze Program sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare begins today and will run through August 31. It is the only annual heat relief program in Northern Kentucky that provides new AC units and fans to neighbors of all ages suffering from a documented medical condition such as asthma or COPD.
The summer heat and humidity in the tristate can exacerbate medical conditions for those who suffer from respiratory health issues. St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s partnership of the seasonal program is important because it benefits those who suffer from life-threatening respiratory illnesses but cannot afford to purchase an air conditioning unit.
“Every patient responds to the rising summer temperatures and humidity levels differently,” said Dr. Chaitanya Mandapakala, a pulmonologist at St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “As a clinician, I often see patients negatively impacted from seasonal changes, which can lead to hospitalization or other long-term effects. It’s important that individuals who struggle to thrive during hotter weather have access to cool, clean air. Unfortunately, this is a healthcare disparity that is not often considered or addressed. The Summer Breeze initiative is quite literally saving the lives of our friends, family, and neighbors.”
Within the past year, there has been a substantial increase in the cost of AC units. Due to inflation, we anticipate an even greater need for air conditioners and fans this year among our neighbors who may not be able to absorb the rise in prices for these items. SVdPNKY’s Summer Breeze Program helps economically disadvantaged clients with severe medical conditions stay healthy and cool in their homes all summer long.
Last summer, SVdPNKY provided 285 AC units and fans, valued at $17,000, to those in need. We could not offer this program without the financial support of generous donors and foundations like St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Agnes Nordloh Charitable Trust. Due to their generosity, we were able to fulfill all requests last summer to those who qualified. To help with the purchase of new AC units and fans for our neighbors in need, please donate at www.svdpnky.org.
Neighbors in need of an air conditioner or fan can reach out to SVdPNKY by calling the Assistance Help Line at 859-341-3219 between Monday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Neighbors may receive a new AC unit every 5 years with a doctor’s note or a fan every year without a doctor’s note.
St. Vincent de Paul Northern Kentucky