"Breathing Matters" clinic engages Legislators in understanding the
importance of lung health
EDMONTON, May 15, 2013 /CNW/ - The Lung Association of Alberta &
Northwest Territories brought its "Breathing Matters" lung health
clinic to the Alberta Legislature today, to ensure MLAs were aware of
the high prevalence of lung disease, the importance of early diagnosis,
and the need for improved education and respiratory care. Patients,
caregivers and medical experts joined The Lung Association to ask
government for their continued support for lung health, and expanded
education and rehabilitation programs for the estimated 600,000
Albertans living with lung disease.
"The lung health issues we are facing today foreshadow the crises we
will be facing tomorrow. The predictions are unnerving, and the
estimated health costs are staggering. But the true impact is the
growing number of our family, friends, neighbours who will struggle -
simply trying to do what we all take for granted - breathe," said Kate
Hurlburt, Volunteer Chair, Board of Directors, The Lung Association,
Alberta & NWT, and caregiver to her mother who is living with Chronic
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). "Now we are relying on our
leaders to learn, to act and help us all breathe easier."
"The impact of lung disease is felt by individuals, their families, our
communities and our health system," said Alberta Health Minister Fred
Horne. "I thank The Lung Association for its tireless efforts to
educate Albertans about the importance of managing their lung health,
and for its continuing partnership with our government."
A highlight of The Lung Association's "Breathing Matters" lung health
clinic included demonstrations of the Spirometry test, which measures
an individual's lung capacity, and medical experts were on-hand to view
and discuss results. The Honourable George VanderBurg, Associate
Minister of Seniors, was first in line at the "Breathing Matters"
clinic to take a Spirometry test and learn about lung disease.
"Educating Albertans about lung disease has been shown to positively
impact health outcomes, and as a government we have an important role
to play in helping to raise awareness among our colleagues and our
constituents," said Minister VanderBurg. "Our government is proud to
continue working in close partnership with The Lung Association in this
province towards the ultimate goal of healthy lungs for all Albertans."
The clinic was created to speak to the high prevalence of lung diseases,
such as Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), in
Alberta. It aims to increase awareness and underscore current
challenges faced by patients in Alberta by outlining the importance of
early detection, lung capacity and its significance. Disease education
and respiratory rehabilitation have been shown to improve health
outcomes for those affected by lung disease, and have a positive impact
on the healthcare system overall.
"Although the challenge is great, the respiratory community is united in
its mission to deliver the highest quality of care to patients with
lung disease in Alberta," said Dr. Mohit Bhutani, Associate Professor
of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Alberta and member of
Alberta Health Services' Respiratory Clinical Network, COPD Working
Group. "The successes of the Respiratory Clinical Network, funded
through Alberta Health Services, are examples of this commitment."
About The Lung Association
Since 1939, The Lung Association has been involved in raising and
allocating funds for critical research, advocacy regarding public
policy, providing patient support, and being a primary source for
information regarding lung health. It is the association's belief that
increasing awareness of the issues surrounding lung health is
imperative. Understanding how lung disease may be prevented and/or
managed is critical to reducing the number of Albertans affected by
lung disease as well as its impact on the health care system.
SOURCE: The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT
For further information:
Bronwyn Petersen, Public Relations Coordinator
The Lung Association, Alberta & NWT