medical professionals put their hands together in a pledge

COPD Patients Benefit Through Partnership to Improve Access to Care

The Lung Health Foundation and Respiplus have come together to improve access to high-quality care for COPD patients across Canada.

The partnership brings together the Respiplus membership of over 16,000 Canadian healthcare providers with the Lung Health Foundation’s broad network of healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to end gaps in COPD care.

To begin the partnership, the Lung Health Foundation and Respiplus will launch WillKin’s COPD ConnEx program to bridge clinical pulmonary rehabilitation and day-to-day self-management to reduce clinic visits and burden on the healthcare system. COPD ConnEx combines exercise and patient education, delivered by accredited kinesiologists at home or remotely.

“This partnership is extremely timely in view of the current pandemic and an important step forward in the future of COPD care,” says Jean Bourbeau MD, MSc, FRCPC, Board President of Respiplus and Director of the Research Institute at McGill University Health Centre – Centre for Innovative Medicine, the COPD Clinic and the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit at MUHC Montreal Chest Institute.

“Only when we adequately support and educate those with COPD on physical activity and a positive lifestyle, in combination with adhering to their medication, will we see an improvement in quality of life and a reduction of hospital admissions from COPD here in Canada.”

COPD ConnEx includes:

  • 12 weekly sessions to introduce safe, effective and functional movement
  • 12 bi-monthly sessions to improve strength and endurance, as well as connect patients with community resources
  • three monthly follow-up sessions to help patients maintain a healthy lifestyle

An abbreviated pilot program launches in Spring 2021 at no cost to 100 patients across Canada, followed by a multi-year commitment, extending to 2025.

“It’s imperative we keep COPD patients at home living their fullest life and out of hospital,” says George Habib, President and CEO of the Lung Health Foundation whose new strategic direction includes the bold five-year goal to reduce COPD hospital admissions by 10% per cent.

The work of the Lung Health Foundation, Respiplus and WillKin Health will help COPD patients live healthy, fulfilling lives through better access to care, self-management and patient education.

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