About Iggy and The Inhalers
Iggy and The Inhalers is an asthma education project created by board-certified pediatric allergist Alex Thomas MD and published by Booster Shot Media.
In 1993, then twelve-year-old Alex Thomas created the character Iggy The Inhaler for an asthma support group newsletter for his mother -- a pediatric allergist. The young cartoonist had no idea that 20 years later his drawings would be helping thousands of children around the country to understand their asthma symptoms and medications.
When Alex began his medical residency at the University of Wisconsin he realized that his old friend Iggy might be a useful tool for the families he was seeing in clinic. Now a pediatric allergist himself, Dr. Alex Thomas sees how useful Iggy and the Inhalers has been with his own patients and is happy to be sharing his education program with patients, parents and health care providers around the country.
Alex teamed up with health communication specialist Gary Ashwal for audience testing and media production to turn his idea into reality. After several iterations, including feedback from patients, input from asthma educators, and evaluation studies, Iggy and The Inhalers patient education materials are now available to hospitals, clinics, schools, and public health departments.
Alex Thomas MD is board-certified in pediatrics, allergy, and immunology and is a cartoonist and illustrator with more than 20 years experience. Gary Ashwal is a health communication specialist and producer of TV commercials, videos, and marketing content for major healthcare organizations. We also work with other artists, healthcare professionals and researchers on specific projects.
- In 2016, Iggy received a "Best in Show" award from the National Health Information Awards!
- Iggy recently won the "multimedia category" in the American Public Health Association's annual 2015 Public Health Education and Health Promotion Materials Contest.
- The project has been independently evaluated by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the inpatient and outpatient settings, showing significant knowledge improvement and retention. The manuscript is currently in process of being published by the research team.
- In 2015, The Consortium on Children's Asthma Camps distributed the comics, trading cards, inhaler labels, and posters to 3,000 children at 50 camps nationwide.
- Iggy and the Inhalers was also included in the The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology’s 2015 presidential initiative on school-based asthma education.
- We have revised the entire set of materials in 2015 based on input from asthma educators around the country, and our Spanish-language version is in the works!
The full set of asthma education materials are:
- Comic Book with activity pages and an asthma action plan
- Trading Cards
- Inhaler Labels
- Character Stickers
- New materials coming soon!