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Chair’s Message

The ORCS is growing and with that comes the expanded reach and impact of lung health programs across the province.  By the end of fiscal 2017-18 membership was more than 800 strong! If you haven’t renewed your membership for this year, don’t delay, renew today:

Last year, the seven Regional Planning Committees of ORCS planned and implemented six events that included 15 speakers and topics and were attended by more than 180 participants. This year, to create efficiencies and better align with The Lung Association’s regions, some ORCS regions have been amalgamated. Essex/Kent and Southwestern Planning Committees merged to become Western Ontario.  Greater Toronto and South Central Ontario merged to become Central Ontario.

Are you involved in research? The ORCS Research Grants and Fellowship Awards support research and graduate study by health-care providers in the field of respiratory care regarding any field of acute or chronic lung disease. This may include investigation of any phenomenon pertinent to illness assessment, management, or patient response, or may be aimed at health promotion, education and prevention issues. Last year, approximately $83,000 was invested to fund three ORCS Research Grants and five Fellowship Awards. The applications for 2018-19 funding are currently going through the ORCS review process with a recommendation expected to be ready for the June meeting of The Lung Association Board of Directors.

And what about education? We have that covered as well. Falling under the umbrella of the ORCS is the Respiratory Health Educators Interest Group (RHEIG).  RHEIG is a multi-disciplinary group that promotes and advances the field of respiratory patient education, with a specific interest in applying theory in a practical way. RHEIG members are responsible for education-related content in this publication, represent RHEIG interests on the Editorial Board and Education Committees, and generate ideas for speakers and topics for the annual Better Breathing Conference. If this is an area where you have an interest, please let us know on your membership profile.

And we’re super happy about Member 365, the new ORCS and OTS membership portal that launched in the fall. The new portal is a system that puts membership management, communications and events all in one place. It greatly improved the registration process for the Better Breathing conference in January as well as the sign ups and renewals of ORCS membership for this coming fiscal year. If you haven’t already set up your profile, please visit today!

I am always available to discuss any comments or suggestions that you may have. Feel free to contact me by email or by phone 416-978-1739.

Don’t forget to save the date for Better Breathing 2019! January 24 – 26, 2019.

Respectfully submitted,

Dina Brooks, BScPT, MSc, PhD
Chair, Ontario Respiratory Care Society.

Editor’s Message

Editor Lorelei

Spring is traditionally thought of as a time of renewal, re-birth, and change.  We too at the ORCS continue to navigate change and renewal both within The Lung Association (TLA) and within our own society.

Jane Lindsay’s Eye On article on the history and evolution of the Respiratory Health Educators Interest Group (RHEIG) and proposed changes to the structure of the group, are one example of some the changes within the ORCS in the past couple of years.  Although the group will look slightly different than before, these changes will continue to promote the importance of respiratory health education and educators.

A big shout-out to McMaster University for becoming the first 100 per cent smoke-free campus in Ontario, as described in the article by Rachel McLay.

In this edition, we are pleased to cover a wide variety of topics in the area of respiratory disease and health that range from research, to educational tools and community programs. The Feature Articles include a look at the oxygen status of muscles during exercise in patients with Interstitial Lung Disease, the status of Tuberculosis in Canada and the work of the Breathe Easy Support Team (B.E.S.T) in setting up community-based support groups across Ontario.  The Respiratory Articles of Interest section summarizes articles which focus on the Canadian Thoracic Society’s position statements on recognizing and managing severe asthma, and an update on the pharmacological treatment of patients with COPD. The Toolbox highlights a website called Choosing Wisely Canada which promotes conversation between patients and their physicians to prevent unnecessary tests and treatments while the poster winners from Better Breathing 2018 are featured in In The Spotlight. Information has also been provided on the Motivational Interviewing Workshops which are being offered through TLA.

The ORCS Editorial Board and the RHEIG continue to work on the integration of these two groups to provide this joint publication.  We are always looking for new people interested in helping with either (or both!) of these groups.  Contact TLA and ask how you can help!

Stay tuned for the Fall Edition of Update on Respiratory Health, Research & Education, where you will begin to see promotion of Better Breathing 2019 and the amazing topics which will be presented there.


Lorelei Samis
Co-chair Editorial Board
Co-chair RHEIG Executive Team


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