PAR Helps Patients Live Well

Everyone wants to live their best life. But for those who have a disease or condition that affects their lungs, that can be difficult to do. That’s why six health care professionals gathered on Saturday to address patients and their families at the Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR) Meet-the-Experts session. Discussing the topic of “Living Well and Lung Health,” the experts gave informative talks on integrative medicine, oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation, and the roles of sleep, mental health, and intimacy in lung health.

The session was designed to “support individuals with lung, sleep, and critical care issues by providing education that would lead to empowerment to living one’s best life, and to finding balance and perseverance,” said PAR Chair Kerri Connolly. “We put together a lineup of lung disease experts to share their expertise to help patients have a better quality of life.”

Patients in the audience and their families, friends, and caregivers were eager to learn about ways they can improve their lives or the lives of their loved ones. Gina Dietzer, who has stage IV lung cancer, says she came to the session to learn more about her disease and how to live well with it.

“I can still have a good quality of life,” she says. “It’s all about how you deal with your disease and respond to it.”

After the panel, attendees were treated to lunch and the opportunity to meet lung disease experts in breakout sessions. There, patients were able to ask questions and meet others who share their disease or condition.

“The people I’ve met have been wonderful role models for me,” said Jenny Brengleman, also a lung cancer patient. “They give me hope.”

Ms. Connolly said the program is successful if patients walk away inspired and energized by the conversations and peer-to-peer connections made during the event.

“We hope that by the end, we create building blocks of knowledge that become pathways to patients’ discovery of a better understanding of their disease.”