OPEN AIRWAYS - Helping Bermuda Breathe - (441) 536-6060



Our Mission

Open Airways is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of over 8,000 people in Bermuda whose lives are affected by asthma and other long-term breathing difficulties.

Our Strategy

  • Educate Health Care Professionals offering expert training for effective care.
  • Educate Individuals to help them take control of their long term disease.
  • Educate Teachers, students and  parents establishing a model of excellencein all schools.

If we can educate the children of this generation we can have a major impact on the next generation.

  • Educate the Community to raise awareness and understanding of best practice asthma care;  to be an advocate in the community for good air quality.
  • Provide Equipment to ensure optimal equipment is available to everyone with respiratory diseases.
  • Provide Medication for those people who are unemployed, uninsured or underinsured and are unable to afford their Asthma and/or COPD medications.

Our Board of Directors

Elizabeth Boden

President, Director

Sylvia Oliveira

Co-Chairperson of the Board, Treasurer, AML/ATF Officer

Jamillah Lodge

Director, Vulnerable Persons Officer

Shaina Kelly


Toni Daniels

Director, Vulnerable Persons Officer

Kimberly Foley


Tanya Beattie


Our Staff

Mary Ellen Ewles
Director of Operations
[email protected]

Lindsay Bishop, RN
Director of Asthma Education
[email protected]

Our History

Open Airways was founded in 1997 by Liz Boden, Bermuda’s first qualified asthma nurse educator and Trina Godfrey a chartered accountant. The mission was to help over 8,000 people whose lives are affected by asthma.

Open Airways soon recognized the need to not only help those with asthma but also advance the specialist care for the elderly suffering with emphysema and other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).

Liz and Trina were learning about the challenges of fund raising and running a charity when in 2005 Open Airways was given a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies. The aim of the grant was NOT to cover the cost of general operating or the charity’s programs but to help find the most cost-effective way to run a charity and to ensure it is sustainable for many years to come.

We were asked to seek expert opinions from professional fundraisers, a system analyzer and those who run respiratory charities in UK. The process took a year and at the end we had a very clear vision as to how we would move forward.

Open Airways coordinates the Island-wide asthma and COPD education for health care professionals (physicians, nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists known as HCPs). The charity would cover the cost of professional education from the 6-month Internationally renowned Diploma courses in Asthma and COPD to annual Updates and workshops.

While Open Airways provides expert education for HCPs working in the hospitals, The Department of Health and Corrections and private medical practices throughout the Island, we do not pay their salaries! Annually over 150 HCPs attend workshops and seminars to keep updated with changes in evidence based respiratory care. These are facilitated by internationally renowned respiratory experts including -

  • Professor Christopher Fanta Harvard Professor and head of the Partners Asthma Centre at Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston.
  • Professor Martyn Partridge Past President of The British Thoracic Society from Imperial College London, who also founded the charity Asthma UK.
  • Dr John Hockney from UK.
  • Professor Hilary Pinnock Professor of Primary Care Research in UK.
  • Dr Allan Kaplan from Canada.

Our specialist asthma nurses attend conferences in UK and the US. Open Airways also sponsors the asthma nurses from BHB Asthma and COPD Education Department and The Department of Health, with whom we work closely.

Open Airways established an asthma education program in all Bermuda schools, in partnership with The Department of Health. By educating children, teachers and their parents we can reach a large number of people in our community. Open Airways would ensure the School Asthma nurse is well trained in respiratory care and would provide all necessary equipment and transportation (The Azmobile) however her salary will be paid by The Department of Health.

Open Airways provides one-on-one consultations for people of all ages with asthma or Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease (COPD). While physicians diagnose and prescribe medications, asthma nurses visit patients in their homes and have much more time to teach people to take control of their asthma and make lasting changes.

Open Airways provides basic necessary equipment for people of all ages, to control asthma and COPD such as spacer devices to ensure inhaled medications reach the airways, peak flow meters to help diagnose and monitor asthma symptoms, pillows as part of our Pillows for Prevention program, microfiber cloths teaching people how to clean without chemicals and oxygen concentrators for terminally ill patients with COPD.

Open Airways helps Disadvantaged families, who do not have the necessary funds to improve their home environment to ensure optimal control of asthma. We work closely with social workers who identify families in need. Open Airways has provided numerous bunk beds and bedding for children found to be sleeping on old mattresses on the floor, carpets have been replaced by tiles, mold has been treated, vacuum cleaners have been bought and many other items provided.

Open Airways educates the community through the media and presentations throughout the Island in offices, church groups and clubs and much more. A major event is held annually on World Asthma Day to raise awareness as we celebrate the joy of breathing freely.

Open Airways does not have a physical office, we need to be out in the community rather than waiting for people to come and see us. Our team each work from home and our meetings would take place at one of our kitchen tables! This saves a considerable amount of money as we have no rent to pay, no maintenance or electricity bills etc.

Open Airways advocates for those with respiratory diseases and lobbies for changes needed to ensure optimal benefit for people with respiratory diseases.


  • Open Airways was a part of the group who successfully lobbied to get rid of smoking in public places.
  • Open Airways was represented on a committee concerning air quality in Bermuda especially from vehicle emissions. This resulted in the TCD testing of all vehicles annually.
  • Recently after many years working with the Bermuda Health Council and health insurance providers, we were successful in getting supplementary oxygen therapy covered by all health insurance providers, including HIP and Future Care. This will mean the demand for our oxygen concentrators will be limited to those who have no health insurance coverage. Also, a great saving in cost for Open Airways and in our time spend delivering and replacing faulty concentrators around the Island.

Good Governance

In 2005 accordance with Open Airways wish to hold itself to the highest levels of accountability the charity was formed into a Company Limited by Guarantee with a Board of Directors to ensure proper governance. Open Airways has an excellent board providing a wide range of expertise.


Deloitte were appointed as independent auditors of the company.

IT support

We soon realized we needed help with IT and Mary Ewles was hired in 20….?, who set up numerous databases so that we could communicate easily with our donors, health professionals and our patients and other lead agencies. We also needed to monitor our progress.

 Production and distribution of booklets, leaflets and posters. These are also available to be downloaded from our website.

In partnership with The Continental Society of Bermuda we published a book called ‘Action Asthma’ for children with asthma. In 2016 Dr. Michelle Cloutier. Director of the Connecticut Children’s Asthma Centre asked if she could use Action Asthma for her school program, where there are 200,000 children with asthma. She also asked for the booklet to be translated into Spanish, which we did with the assistance from Jacqui O’Shaughnessy.

Not having a physical office meant we needed transportation – 2 vans, known as Azmobiles were bought to carry our equipment. One was driven by the school asthma nurse and the other by our Open Airways nurse. They are decorated with our superhero – Action Asthma and our villain Mr. Trigger. People reach out for help and advice wherever we go even at the gas station or the Supermarket!

COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges as we were unable to get out and about in the community. Many people lost their jobs and their health insurance and were unable to afford their asthma medications. Open Airways established The Medication Assistance Program, to provide medications for those affected by the pandemic. This program has been an overwhelming success, over 100 people have free medications, every 3 months their asthma /COPD control is reviewed. This has resulted in people having their asthma well controlled, often for the first time in their life. None have visited the Emergency department with asthma, while 40% had been to the ER in the previous year.

Open Airways is well-respected in the community

Open Airways are passionate about the work that we do – since starting our Island-wide Asthma education program hospital admissions for Asthma have been reduced by a staggering 83%! We sincerely hope Open Airways will continue to Help Bermuda Breathe for many years to come.

Our Reputation

(excerpt from patient email)

As always, thank you for your easy to understand and practical advise.
Always feel more in control  after talking to you!


Thank you for…    Your commitment to helping needy families in our community is appreciated by our team, and most importantly by those who benefit from our services. The primary objective of the Cross Ministry intervention Team is to support and strengthen families.  Our staff actively works with the families that are involved in our program to identify and alleviate some of the obstacles that prevent them from rising to their full potential.  Your efforts have gone a long way in helping us to fulfill our purpose by meeting the needs of those we serve.

~ Coordinator of the Cross Ministry Intervention Team
Department of Child and Family Services, Bermuda


Thank you for your invaluable visit. I now feel much more in control, armed with my new knowledge about asthma and allergies. And Grace seems better already!     

~ Mother of a 5-year old child with asthma


I cannot believe how much I learnt in just one hour thank for taking so much time just for me and for being so clear and thorough.

~ 23-year old Rhodes Scholar


I am a new man. I can breathe for the first time in my life.
How can I thank you?

~ 63-year old paraplegic man


I have not been to the hospital since I saw you a year ago – I used to live there. I cannot believe it was so easy to manage my asthma. Thank you!

~ Vanessa (age 29)


You won’t believe this but we have not been in the hospital since your visit 10 months ago and we used to go almost every week. Kaleb is doing much better and I don’t miss days from my job which makes my boss pleased.

~ Mother of a premature baby (age 20 months)


December 2018

Just wanted to say that having Liz for our Lunch’n’Learn  was awesome!  It was truly amazing how Liz, with no powerpoint slides, just captivated the audience with her knowledge, personal experiences and most wonderful humor!  Liz’s passion is ever evident and has a way of making her presentation come alive.  Our staff have stated that it was one of the most informative lunch’n’learns of the year and they would definitely have her back!  Several will now make personal appointments.

THANK YOU ever so much!

~Brenda Dale
BF&M Insurance


63 year old woman….
Severe asthma, unable to walk up stairs, waking throughout the night, fearful of traveling.   Following asthma education wrote to say: ‘Since our meeting on June 22nd I have only used Ventolin once! I am free of the breathless feeling, I can walk from Bullshead car park and then up 5 floors of stairs to my office! Thanks I am feeling 20 years younger!’

A 5 year old…
Severe asthma and many sleepless nights, visited Emergency every month. Now so much better, her asthma is well managed and the family feels in control. No more hospital visits!

‘Thank you – you are our Asthma Angel’.

15 month old toddler… ‘Our precious baby has developed asthma and had 4 attacks and been admitted to hospital each time – this week she had an attack at nursery when we arrived she was blue, barely responsive we rushed to the hospital and she was in ICU fighting for her life.’

Open Airways did a home visit, made lots of suggestions and recommended a preventer medication which was not available at that time on the island for children of this age. Mom followed all of the suggestions (cats moved out, new vacuum etc) and as soon the medication arrived her life changed.

Mom’s last e-mail ‘No visits to the hospital – our precious daughter is growing again, she can sing her alphabet and nursery rhymes, she goes to swimming lessons and plays a toy trumpet…just as you suggested. Her airways are getting stronger all thanks to you.’

19 year Teenager…Miss S

Before asthma education - ‘I am extremely scared for my life I am sitting here typing this message and crying because I am scared I know people die from this. Without insurance I cannot keep running to the doctor, I have no job I just want to have a normal day in my life

Open Airways did 2 home visits – provided asthma medication to cover her until she got a job and health insurance, microfiber dusters, spacers. The nurse even helped to clean her apartment.

One month later Miss S was working part time and going to Bermuda College. She wrote ‘I cannot believe I was so ill my body was full of mucous and now I have my life back…thank you.‘


November 2018

As the Asthma Lead for Education for Health, a UK based educational charity, it has been a pleasure to get to know more about Open Airways and to experience first-hand the work that they do.  Evidence based healthcare, grounded in sound medical research and educational theory, is at the heart of both charities and it is this shared principle that assures the quality of the work we do.

Working in partnership with Open Airways is a great privilege for me because it is a proper grass roots charity that has identified the needs of people with asthma in Bermuda and is actively seeking to address relevant local issues. This is a true public health approach that is effective in helping people of all ages with asthma across Bermuda to achieve better asthma control.

Asthma is a serious medical condition that is highly prevalent in Bermuda; it has a huge impact on people’s quality of life and every asthma attack is potentially life threatening. Through raising awareness of asthma island-wide, educating health professionals to deliver excellent health care and supporting people with asthma to manage their condition, Open Airways is providing a fantastic service to the people of Bermuda.

Viv Marsh​
Education Lead
Education For Health, UK


The program, admirably led by certified asthma nurse educator Liz Boden, is a coherent collaboration of skilled medical staff (nurses together with doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and community members), working together to teach children and adults about controlling their asthma. They are passionate about their work, well-trained and skillful in their approach, creative in the design of their outreach programs, and systematic in the evaluation of their activities. Their reach has been truly island-wide, including every school, hospital-based teaching, prison medical care, and community health fairs. It is likely that no one on the island would fail to recognize the AsthmaVan (“Azmobile”) if they spotted it driving to deliver free pillows to school children, teach a family in need about medication use (and provide them with a new free spacer device), or help an elder manage his home supplemental oxygen device.  I consider Open Airways a model for effective, collaborative, charity-driven health activism and admire the passionate leadership of Liz Boden, who has brought it to fruition.

~Dr. Christopher H. Fanta, M.D.,
Director, Partners Asthma Center
Professor of Medicine,
Harvard Medical School


To have vision is one small part of being a successful leader.  Turning that vision into a reality is what really makes a difference.  Liz has worked tirelessly and selflessly to educate hundreds of health professionals whilst creating a community asthma team.  … {Open Airways is}an international inspiration and I believe they have and will continue to put Bermuda on the map for excellence in respiratory care.

~ Monica Fletcher, Chief Executive,
Education for Health National Respiratory Training Center (US)


It takes remarkable leaders to change the way a ‘community perceives and response to the challenges that respiratory disease pose.  Open Airways is a testament to the energy, passion and commitment that once unleashed makes real, practical changes to individuals with asthma and the system of care in a community.  For instance, hospital admissions are down by 70% since Open Airways introduced and island-wide Asthma Education Program in 1997.  The type of project champion that Liz Boden has proven to be as the founder and President of Open Airways is not always easily found.  What Liz had nurtured and created in Bermuda stands, without question, as a model for the world to learn from.  Open Airways is a professional organization with a strong commitment to its mission and purpose and can only continue to grow and serve the people of Bermuda well.

~Judith Taylor-Fishwick,
Director – National Respiratory Training Center


I attended the Allen Carr seminar on May 26 2004 at the Hamilton Princess.  I had smoked for 32 years and I was averaging a pack a day, and smoked more than a pack when I drank.

What happened after the seminar was nothing short of astounding, I never felt like a cigarette, I never had withdrawal symptoms of any kind, it was almost as if I had never smoked.

I am very happy to say I remain smoke free nine years later. The seminar for me was a godsend,

 ~ Local Senior Executive who attended Easyway Seminar


I feel healthier and happier and more secure in my self-image, I am less stressed, and I have more energy and need less sleep. There is not a single area of my body or mind that quitting smoking did not improve and I owe it all to you for bringing in this seminar. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have never quit on my own, for good.

~ Attendee of an Easyway Seminar


I can’t TELL you what an impact you have had on Bill.  He is like a man who has been given a new lease on life!  He slept the entire night last night and woke up feeling fresh, energetic AND, he could BREATHE! J From the bottom of our hears, thank you, thank you, thank you!  You have given him the greatest gift possible!

~ Wife of a  local man with COPD

Our Mission

Open Airways is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of over 8,000 people in Bermuda whose lives are affected by asthma and other long-term breathing difficulties.

Contact info

Nurse: (441) 536-6060 - [email protected]

Info: (441) 238-3261 - [email protected]


P.O. Box HM 1164,

Hamilton HMEX, Bermuda

Registered Charity #458

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