Our certified respiratory
educators are ready to take your questions
Maha Alrimali, RPh, CRE, The Lung Association – Ontario
The Breathe Easy Support Team (B.E.S.T.), launched by The Lung Association-Ontario (TLA) in January 2017, is a community-based support group that brings together patients and their caregivers. Members include patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), as well as those undergoing a lung transplant.
Patients can self-refer or be referred by their health-care provider. The support group meets monthly at the Real Canadian Superstore® across the street from our provincial office (located near Don Mills and Eglinton in Toronto). B.E.S.T. is supported by a Registered Pharmacist/Certified Respiratory Educator from our provincial office. Meetings are scheduled for 10:30-11:30am on the first Thursday of every month (except July and August). Parking is available at no cost and light snacks and refreshments are provided. The meeting location is on the ground floor of the supermarket and is easily accessible for those with mobility challenges.
Over the past 14 months, TLA has worked with the support group members to promote lung health as well as disease self-management. Along with providing education on various lung health topics, B.E.S.T. gatherings are also for sharing personal experiences and expectations. Members often discuss their own journey of living with a chronic lung disease and how it has affected their lives. Members have brought items to the meetings, such as their oximeters, portable oxygen tanks, and pulmonary rehabilitation CDs. These items have provided the subject for useful discussions. B.E.S.T has invited a number of guests from different disciplines to speak about their areas of expertise related to managing lung disease. Guest speakers to date have included a dietitian, a kinesiologist, a yoga instructor and a respiratory therapist. The topics discussed at these meetings have helped bridge the gap between patient knowledge and their perception of lung disease, and the science provided by clinical research along with the recommendations in the Canadian guidelines.
We know the proven benefits from pulmonary rehabilitation and self-management education programs and support groups. B.E.S.T. is one of many Lung Association initiatives that engage patients with lung disease.
If you are interested in starting a support group, please contact Jody Hamilton, Manager Patient Engagement & Community Programs, The Lung Association-Ontario, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a list of other support groups in Ontario. If you know of a patient and or caregiver who might benefit from attending a support group please call 1-888-344-5864 (LUNG) or email email@example.com (TLA keeps a data-base of support groups across Ontario).
“When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters”.
The Respiratory Health Education Interest Group (RHEIG) is a multi-disciplinary group of ORCS members who promote and advance the field of respiratory education, with a specific interest in applying theory in a practical way.