COPD Breathe Strong America

COPD Breathe Strong America is planned for Nov. 23 at First Alliance Church in Port Charlotte.

“We’re coming together for inspiration, education and to be among a broad community that has all the resources and assistance for those battling lung diseases,” said Denise Leazenby, CRT who has over 40 years of successful respiratory care and treatment experience, and is an employee at Port Charlotte Rehabilitation Center.

Leazenby reports that the event is free for patients, caregivers and health care professionals, including respiratory students. Event sponsors will provide lunch, informative lectures and equipment education for those in attendance.

“We’re excited that Dr. Jaime Cancel from the Pulmonary Sleep and Critical Care Specialists in Port Charlotte will be speaking about COPD at 10 a.m.,” she said. At the end of his lecture, he’s providing an engaging question and answer platform.

Bob Sobkowiak, RRT, TTS, is part of Breathe Strong COPD coalition and is coordinating the event to help educate, encourage and assist providers, patients and caregivers.

COPD Breathe Strong America, according to Sobkowiak, is a network of patients, providers and industry professionals who are paving the way for COPD self-management to provide a healthier COPD community.

“Part of our event network are the surrounding medical facilities that provide services for lung patients and we’re requesting that our community service providers bring their patients to this event,” Leazenby said. “We’re sweetening the offer with a prize for the facility bringing the most patients.”

“Our event vendors are here to offer information about oxygen options, portable inhaler devices and equipment that may bring life-altering changes for those with lung disease,” Leazenby said.

For example, InCourage company will be on site to demonstrate new technology particularly helpful for those with frequent lung infections. Because this invention helps patients to clear their lungs and keeps them from a revolving door of hospital visits, it may be a game-changer for those with bronchiectasis and chronic bronchitis. Leazenby reports that patients will don a chest-vest garment that gives non-invasive percussion to clear phlegm.

“There will be all kinds of hand-outs, prizes and free testing for COPD patients,” Leazenby said. “Because Port Charlotte Rehab Center is this area’s largest pulmonary therapy site, we want to continue to empower lives and make a difference.

“We’re so grateful for our sponsors who have stepped up and responded to the COPD community in order to plan this event.”


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