By Suzanne Maxx ©
Austin Air, Malibu Urgent Care Center (MUCC), and World Team Now (the non-profit charity I founded), all teamed-up to educate the public as partners for Our Clean Air Campaign. The focus of the Clean Air Campaign is on air quality action and the importance of each breath for good health now, and for future generations.
Upon return from Fiji ‘s island project, to the USA in 2018, the California Woolsey Fire created a crisis for the Malibu community and blocked our access to access luggage, supplies. Roads entering Malibu and the surrounding areas were closed, the fire and smoke made it difficult to breathe. It was devastating to see the fire destroy hundreds of structures, kill people and blackened more than 98,000 acres from Calabasas to Malibu. So many families were traumatized by the loss of habitat, property, belongings, nature, and wildlife— Malibu is not alone, nor is California. Communities and forests around the world are on fire. We were delayed significantly in returning to Fiji, with the circumstances and health challenges. I returned to our New York City base, fortunate to not suffer the property loss, but we were grieving with the community.
We created the Clean Air Campaign to build a public beneficial platform and take local action. The Clean Air Campaign is here, and the link to share is here: https://worldteamnow.org/blog/cleanair/. We have learned first-hand the mission-critical importance of being able to take a good deep breath. Many people in California, friends, and family had shared about the ash in the air and difficulty breathing again this year. We knew the Malibu Urgent Care was a place that truly serves the community of Malibu. MUCC has had challenges with smoke during fire seasons over the years. We thought Austin Air’s Healthmate Air Purifier would make a big difference in the waiting room for the patients, nurses, doctors (one who was, in fact, pregnant at the time of the arrival of the air purifier), and the entire staff of the facility.
Over the year World Team Now had been trying to figure out what we could do for the local air quality, besides our work on the big picture with climate change. Then the cyclical local fires broke out again in California, 2019 heightened. I witnessed a significant amount of friends and community members again struggling with breathing. I went to the Malibu Urgent Care Center to begin the Clean Air Campaign to memorialize the Austin Air’s Healthmate Air Purifier in action, and ironically was in respiratory distress, with great difficulty breathing. Once again, World Team Now delayed the island campaign, as the long flight with the airline’s insecticide treatment before entering the Pacific Island region was not a healthy formula to deal with a history of lung challenges and poor air quality, pesticides, or fires. It has become a quest to return to Fiji and the Pacific Island Region for the island demo project. But with the challenges came opportunities, which inspired this Clean Air Campaign to begin in Malibu.
We chose Malibu Urgent Care Center to be the recipient of Austin Air’s Healthmate Air Purifier donation because we have found their mission to be critical and thought this donation would be beneficial to the public. Malibu Urgent Care Center shared with us that they are completely community-driven and supported: MUCC most recently was able to renovate the entire clinic thanks to the donations from the community. MUCC has served the community with access to urgent care for the past 24 years. Malibu Urgent Care Center’s main physicians live in the Malibu area. When disaster isolates Malibu, MUCC has emergency preparedness supplies onsite and supports emergency medical care serving the more remote communities between Oxnard and Santa Monica, CA. Established in 2001 after the former urgent care center went bankrupt, the local medical center owes its existence to dedicated community members. This valuable community resource offers walk-in services, x-rays, ultrasound, quick testing, and laboratory services, including free annual flu shots as a community service to public school teachers, police officers, and fire officials. MUCC is open 365 days a year with ER-physicians, phone support, and assistance to patients with health insurance-related issues. A full listing of services is found at their website MalibuUrgentCare.com.
Here is what the MUCC’s team shared with World Team Now about the air purifier donation:
“A portable air filter contributes greatly to a healthier environment for the patients and staff of Malibu Urgent Care, especially in times of fire and/or weather-related poor air quality. Since our building is over 40 years old, we can never seal it enough to keep the bad air outside. We kept the clinic open during the 2018 tragic Malibu brush fires, and everyone suffered from the constant thick ash and smoke that permeated every corner of the clinic. Every fall the winds blow and fire danger is high, but during the year, when the prevailing winds switch from onshore to offshore, we can also experience high levels of smog blown into town from polluted inland valleys. Our emergency/urgent care facility in Malibu sees patients suffering from more complicated conditions than at normal urgent care clinics. Clean, filtered air is vital to these patients, and also to the staff who spend so much time here. Thank you for your consideration of a donation of a portable air filter to Malibu Urgent Care. “
Austin Air® chose to partner with the World Team® project on outside-the-box approaches to large scale solutions. Together we have the goals of public adoption and education about clean air for our planet and future generations.
For the World Team Project which includes the developing multimedia platform World Team®, and the nonprofit World Team Now® we choose to partner with technology leaders such as Austin Air®. They are also the market leader in domestic air purification systems. Austin Air understands the importance of breathing clean, safe, unpolluted air. With Austin Air’s Healthmate® Air Purifier, this partnership is an opportunity to educate the public that clean air is integral to human health, as life starts with the breath.
Our partnership realizes that fires and their impact on human health will only continue to become more traumatic with time, as the pressure of Climate Change magnifies the human race’s challenge to live in better balance with nature. We are starting at home first, in California, where our nonprofit: World Team Now began, in 2005.
We wanted to support the community through these fires and thought that people entering the Malibu Urgent Care Center with health challenges might have a reprieve from poor air quality. Also, an air purifier in an urgent care waiting room helps prevent the spreading of what can cause poor health. The HealthMate is certified to remove a wide range of airborne particles, allergens, chemicals, noxious gases, odors significantly improving the quality of air. Clean air is imperative for the long term good health of people.
Our plan now is to deploy air purification units strategically around the world, which will optimize the nexus of the urgent need for good air quality, public education, and technology solutions.
The air filtration units donated by Austin Air will be strategically distributed between developed regions facing a crisis and developing regions, with ongoing poor air quality that islands face related to diesel gas emissions. Outer islands Eco-Resorts and other sites fighting mold, wildfires, plus other allergens, will also receive Austin Air purifiers. We have planned long term to benefit islanders’ health with a broader approach with community centers and healthcare stations for islanders.
In the past three years, World Team Now has begun to plan our long term United Nations Multistakeholder Partnership: Sustainable Solutions Ocean Opportunities on the Small Island States (SOS-IS) project in the Pacific Island Region in Samoa and developing the project in Fiji. World Team Now plans to use the Austin Air products in SOS-IS Partnership, too. SOS-IS and other partnership projects that support the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aka “Global Goals” are a blueprint for our future. These SDGs and partnerships are now being reviewed at the United Nations Framework for Climate Change COP25 in Madrid. We have a stake in the basics like clean air, water, and the ocean, with goals for our common home beyond the year 2030.
We have a local start and a global reach because air quality does not know borders— we have an interdependent climate with nature and one another, and it is changing. The time to act is now.
This is something small we could do together that helps highlight an urgent large scale pressing issue, collectively: Clean Air. This Clean Air Campaign is starting on a local scale and with our Mangroves Campaign on islands, sequestering carbon on a global scale, we hope to demo a micro and macro solution as one of our goals in times of climate change.
World Team Now’s approach to demo system solutions includes nature-based solutions (such as planting mangroves) and innovative technology systems that highlight biomimicry of nature.
Our home territories in the USA States, California’s and New York’s energy policies, the role of utilities, and power distribution have an equation that with community partnerships like Microgrids which could better prioritize people and nature with the present policies and laws. World Team Now supports a commitment to 100% renewable energy community microgrids, where people have a say, and a choice in the power decisions, and energy sources. We choose to go to the most vulnerable communities impacted by Climate Change— islands— or regions that must “island,” like what happened to the community of Malibu and others in California in the past year. There is an opportunity to present and deploy actual solutions, and where the kind of work we can do is appreciated and supported. It starts with a small action.
We at World Team Now, appreciate the local opportunity to team-up with Austin Air, and Malibu Urgent Care Center for the community in Malibu. Teaming up might be the key to the future we all want to see, not just locally, but also globally.