I would like to introduce you to Becky Zucco and her team at WillKin. Our next module in Kin School will be focusing on chronic respiratory health and is taught by Lauren Tracey, an accredited Kinesiologist and member of Becky's team.
Guest blog post written by: Emily Horvat
Those with chronic lung diseases (CLDs), benefit enormously when treated with exercise-based rehabilitation programs in combination with drug therapy. Combining aerobic exercise and functional strength training is critical for maintaining a safe and positive lifestyle and reducing risk of exacerbations. But there are simply not enough programs available in Canada (1).
It is important to recognize that, as Kinesiologists, we are well-placed to help this population – but our programs must combine several important elements – exercise, lifestyle education, breathing/relaxation techniques and motivational behaviour change tools. We must be aware of the psychological challenges experienced by these individuals every day, regarding anxiety and breathlessness with minimal effort (2).
“I recognized that of all chronic conditions, those with COPD, PF and Severe Asthma were underserved when it came to exercise-based programs, and their equitable access, and felt compelled to bridge this gap” – Becky Zucco, Founder and Director of WillKin.
In 2016, Becky Zucco launched WillKin Health (Santé WillKin) and has since grown a network of “WillKins” across Canada to provide specialist chronic disease programs. Through extensive needs assessment, and winning funding through Lung Health Foundation, BC Lung Association and industry partners, WillKin’s COPD ConnEx and PF ConnEx programs are now running in ON, QC and BC. Allowing 100 patients to receive these programs at no cost.
You can find early results of this work on our website.
WillKin Health is a team of truly dedicated and passionate individuals with the global vision to create opportunities that connect Kinesiologists to patients through programs that are meaningful and relevant today.
WillKin recognized there is great disparity between exercise-based programs in lung health compared to other chronic conditions. Many with COPD, Pulmonary Fibrosis and Severe Asthma need dedicated help changing lifestyle behaviours and living positively.
The ultimate goal is to push for “Kinesiologist-led” rehabilitation programs to become more accessible and available to the CLD population. Raising the value of Kinesiology in healthcare.
Interested in getting involved? Contact [email protected]
WillKin Health (www.willkin.ca)
1 Morgan M. Thorax January 2017 Vol 72 No 1
2 Bourbeau J, et al. BMJ Open 2016;6:e010109. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010109
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