Health P.E.I. will hold four focus-group discussions on living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) across the province this month.
They will be held on Thursday, July 12, in Queens County, Friday, July 13, in East Prince, Tuesday, July 17, in Kings County and Friday, July 20, in West Prince.
Anyone interested in attending is asked to pre-register by calling the provincial COPD program at 1-888-854-7244.
COPD is a lung disease that affects about 8,000 Islanders and 1.5 million Canadians. It includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema and causes coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and fatigue. This is no cure.
In addition to consulting with Islanders, Health P.E.I. will seek input on the COPD program from health-care providers from primary care, acute care, long-term care and other specialists. Health P.E.I. will also evaluate the previous diabetes strategy to ensure it addresses prevention, screening and COPD management.
The current program offers resources and supports — including clinics — that educate Islanders about their disease and teach them how to proactively manage their symptoms to improve their quality of life.
Celine MacLeod, registered respiratory therapist and provincial COPD co-ordinator, said the province has evolved and enhanced the availability of education, resources and care in recent years.
“As a program, it is important that we hear from Islanders living with COPD,’’ MacLeod said. “Their life and health-care experiences will help guide future planning for COPD programs and services that continue to meet their needs.’’
More information is available at www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/health-pei/copd-program.