Welcome to the Asthma Center at The Oregon Clinic, the only dedicated asthma center in Portland. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for people with asthma.
We provide state-of-the-art services personalized to meet the unique needs of each individual patient.
The treatment we provide is evidence-based yet tailored to each patient’s needs and values. This approach ensures the most advanced asthma treatment and management options currently available.
We have a multi disciplinary team focused on providing comprehensive treatment to our patients.
Pulmonary & Sports Pulmonology
John Mastronarde, MD
Jason Wells, MD
Rick Balestra, MD
Vikram Sahni, MD
Mike Skokan, MD
Whitni Friberg, PA-C
Sleep Medicine & Sports Sleep Medicine
William Bowerfind, MD
Mike Lefor, MD
Lou Libby, MD
Andrea Matsumura, MD
John Mastronarde, MD
Sarah Hopkins, MD
Hong Shen, MD
Portland Providence Medical Center Speech-Language Pathologists
- Gresham: Larissa Sweeney, Jane Parker
- NE Rehab: Rebecca Madore, Sarah Sellevaag, Jane Parker, Karen Smith
- St. Vincent: Bev Alexander, Chelsea Miller-Erion
- Milwaukie: Sara Winston Frojen
- Providence Sports Care Center: Oliya Yegorov
- Providence Newberg: Deb Trevvett
- Willamette Falls: Beverly McCormick
- St. Vincent: Melissa Tucker
- PPMC: Megan Hyers, Kelli Harrington-Bollenbaugh, Hilary Dilla, Carrie Cole.
- PMH: Sara Winston Frojen
The Asthma Center at The Oregon Clinic can help
Our goal is to help you maintain close to normal activity levels while taking the least amount of medicine needed to control your asthma. Our physicians are board certified and have special training in the care and management of asthma. Your care will be based on the most up to date treatment guidelines combined with our clinical experience.
We will assess your symptoms and medicine use at each visit and adjust your treatment plan as needed. You will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a certified asthma educator, who will develop a personalized asthma action plan for you to follow at home. You will learn how to manage your asthma and what to do if it gets worse. Our team will communicate their findings and send a copy of your personalized asthma plan to your primary care provider.
We also offer several specialized asthma programs:
Personalized Asthma Care and Education (PACE program) This 4 visit program is perfect for those wanting a comprehensive evaluation by an asthma specialist and one-on-one asthma education while receiving on-going asthma care through their primary provider.
Asthma in Athletes This program is geared to the competitive or recreational athlete experiencing shortness of breath, cough, wheezing or reduced endurance during physical activity. We offer specialized testing for exercise induced asthma called a Eucapneic Hyperventilation Test (EVH). EVH is one of the most sensitive tests for exercise induced asthma and is often used in testing of elite athletes. The test involves a hyperventilation challenge meant to simulate high intensity exercise. Lung function is then measured after the hyperventilation challenge. People with exercise induced asthma will experience a decrease in lung function after the challenge. Click here to watch a short video of an EVH test.
Refractory (Severe) Asthma This program is ideal for those with difficult to control asthma. The asthma team provides on-going care and up to date treatments to lessen asthma symptoms and improve quality of life.
Women and Asthma This program is tailored to managing asthma in women especially during pregnancy.
The Asthma Center at The Oregon Clinic strongly believes in patient care is improved by high quality research studies. Our goal is to participate in high-quality patient centered research aimed at improving the lives of people with asthma. Our participation in cutting-edge research allows us to offer new therapies to our asthma patients. A clinical trial is a research study that tests new medicines, treatments or tests. If selected for a clinical trial, volunteers receive the study medicine, treatments or tests free of charge.
Also, all medical evaluations and tests performed by the clinical trials researchers are free of charge and reimbursement may be given for parking and/or travel expenses. Visit the National Institutes of Health for more information on clinical research.
Are you a health professional?
Click here for a list of studies we currently have underway. We appreciate your interest in advancing the field of pulmonary medicine through research.
Control your asthma – Don’t let asthma control you
Many asthmatics believe their asthma is controlled if they have not been to the emergency room or admitted to the hospital for their asthma. Breathing problems can become a part of life but they don’t have to!
Asthma does not have to limit your life or stop you from doing whatever you want to do. How do you know if your asthma is controlled? Take the asthma control quiz.
- Learn as much as you can about asthma. Visit the Multnomah County Website for some asthma basics.
- Take your medications. Do not stop taking your asthma medications without talking to your provider. Let your provider know if you cannot afford your medications. For medication assistance try NeedyMeds.com or http://www.pparx.org/
- Take your medications properly. There are many different inhalers and some can be difficult to use. Show your provider or pharmacist how you are using the inhaler. If you are having trouble, ask your provider for a different medication. For more information on using inhalers, check out this video.
- Avoid things that trigger your asthma and if you have a child with asthma the Multnomah County Healthy Homes Program may be able to help.
- Do not smoke and stay away from second-hand smoke. Get help with smoking cessation. Helpful links for quitting here and here.
- Participate in regular exercise and try to maintain a healthy diet.
- Avoid people who are sick and practice good hand washing.
- Get an Influenza vaccine every year and be sure to get a Pneumonia vaccine.
- Ask your provider for an Asthma Action Plan to follow at home.
- Call your provider if your asthma is getting worse or your medications do not seem to be working and see your provider for regular check-ups. Follow-up with your asthma care provider within 1 week of going to the emergency room or hospital for your asthma.
Asthma and Pregnancy
During pregnancy you are breathing for you and your baby so asthma control is important. Some women will notice more asthma problems when they are pregnant but others will feel better. There is no way to know who will have breathing problems or flare-ups during pregnancy.
Asthma flare-ups can happen anytime during pregnancy. Most flare-ups are caused by viral infections or by women stopping their asthma medicine. Do not stop taking asthma controller medicine when pregnant. This medicine controls your asthma to keep you breathing normally. Asthma medicines are safe and cause little risk to you or your baby.
- Shortness of breath
- Using a rescue inhaler more than twice a week
- If you are having more severe signs of asthma, such as trouble saying four or five words at a time, coughing so much you can’t breathe, your lips or fingernails are bluish, or your peak flow is below 50% of your best, go to the emergency room right away.
Your asthma is controlled if you are able to go to school, work, play and sleep with few asthma symptoms. Other signs include the following:
- Rescue medication 2 or less times per week during the day (do not count medicine you take right before exercise)
- Rescue medication 2 or less times per month during the night
- Peak flow more than 80% of your personal best reading
If you are thinking about getting pregnant, schedule a visit with your provider. He or she will check to see if you are healthy and if your asthma is under control.
- Stop smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
- Review all medicines you are taking including vitamins, herbs and supplements with your provider. As your provider to suggest the safest brands of medicines to use during pregnancy.
- Get needed vaccines such as flu, pneumococcal (pneumonia) or Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis).
- Take your asthma medicines regularly and talk to your provider if you are having side effects or problems affording the medicine.
- Ask for an asthma action plan from your provider so you will know what to do if your asthma flares up.
- If new medicines or the action plan does not seem to help your asthma, call your provider for help.
Take your asthma medicines regularly during pregnancy. Your provider will use the least amount of medicine to control your asthma flare-ups or problems for you and the baby.
- Do not smoke and avoid second-hand smoke.
- Review all medicines you are taking including vitamins and herbs with your provider. Ask your provider to suggest the safest brands to use during pregnancy.
- Take your asthma controller medicines as directed. Talk to your provider if you are having side effects, or the medicine is not controlling your asthma.
- Do not take decongestants found in many cold, flu and allergy medicines. Examples include Sudafed®, Sinutab®, Allegra-D®, Claritin-D®, pseudoephedrine, and phenylephrine. Talk to your provider about alternative medicine.
- Pregnancy can cause shortness of breath. A good way to see if the shortness of breath is caused by pregnancy or your asthma is check your air flow with a ”peak flow meter”. Your air flow will drop if you are having a flare-up of asthma.
- Create an asthma action plan to follow during asthma flare-ups.
- Asthma flare-ups should be treated quickly to prevent drops in oxygen levels which can harm the baby. Asthma flare-ups are treated the same during pregnancy as they are when you are not pregnant. The treatment is safer for your and the baby than not being able to breath.
- Get a flu vaccine if you are pregnant during flu season.
- Asthma rarely causes a problem during delivery, but always tell the medical staff you have asthma. They can make sure that you continue your medicines.
Your asthma will usually return to your pre-pregnancy state within 3 months.
- Review all medicines you are taking including vitamins, herbs and supplements with your provider. As you provider to suggest the safest brand to use if you are breastfeeding.
- Take your asthma controller medicines as directed.
- See your provider to evaluate your asthma and adjust medicines, as needed.
- Do not smoke and keep your baby away from smoke. Exposure to smoke has been linked to asthma, ear infections, pneumonia and sudden infant death syndrome.
If you ever have questions or concerns talk with your health care provider about available asthma resources.
The Asthma Center at the Oregon Clinic can help:
Our goal is to help you maintain close to normal activity levels while taking the least amount of medicine needed to control your asthma. Our physicians are board certified and have special training in the care and management of asthma.
Your care will be based on the most up to date treatment guidelines combined with our clinical experience. We will assess your symptoms and medicine use at each visit and adjust your treatment plan as needed.
You will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with a certified asthma educator, who will develop a personalized asthma action plan for you to follow at home. You will learn how to manage your asthma and what to do if it gets worse.
Our team will communicate their findings and send a copy of your personalized asthma plan to your primary care provider.