EFA, Olympus Partner to Provide Free Online Lung Health Workshops

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by Vanda Pinto |

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The Emphysema Foundation of America (EFA) — a nonprofit focused on raising awareness of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) — is teaming up with the Olympus Corporation of the Americas, a medical device company, to provide free online workshops meant to educate COPD patients about lung health.

These educational workshops will be available every month from now through December 2021, with the next one scheduled for July 27. Additional details can be found here.

“We are excited to partner with Olympus in providing educational resources to help those living with COPD better manage their respiratory health,” Marc Carrel, president and CEO of EFA, said in a press release.

Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are two lung conditions that fall under the umbrella of COPD. While emphysema is characterized by the progressive destruction of alveoli — the tiny air-filled sacs inside the lungs — chronic bronchitis causes irritation of the bronchial tubes and a buildup of mucus. Both diseases make breathing difficult.

Many people are unaware that they have COPD, despite it being the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. Currently, 16 million Americans are diagnosed with COPD and an estimated 15 million have COPD symptoms or impaired lung function, but have never been tested for the condition and remain undiagnosed.

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EFA and Olympus will offer five free virtual workshops dealing with lung health-related content to members of the COPD community, as well as to health care providers. The series aims to improve the quality of life of those with COPD and to encourage adults to be screened for the disease.

“Olympus cares deeply about combatting lung disease and is committed to finding solutions to help relieve the symptoms of COPD,” said Lynn Ray, vice president and general manager of Olympus’ global respiratory business unit.

“We are very excited to partner with the EFA to ensure that the general public is more educated about the commonly overlooked symptoms of COPD, with the goal of ensuring this disease can be properly and proactively treated,” Ray said.

The workshops will cover details on how patients can better manage living with COPD, and will provide caregivers with information on patient care. Additionally, the sessions will include updates for physicians and other health care providers on the most recent therapies available to treat COPD.

“We are thankful to Olympus for providing us the support to create this important opportunity to educate patients, caregivers, and medical professionals and to improve respiratory health and chronic lung disease across the nation,” Carrel said, adding that the Emphysema Foundation “is proud to serve those individuals and families suffering with emphysema and COPD.”

The next upcoming live webinar is titled “New BLVR Treatment Option to Manage Your COPD.” Slated for 2 p.m. ET on July 27, it will be hosted by Gerard Criner, MD, chair and professor at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, in Philadelphia.

The EFA also sponsors educational opportunities for health care providers, such as the Pacific Coast Lung Health Conference, set to take place at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles on November 20.