July 28, 2016

COPD Patient Advocate Group (CPAG) update

Ian Venamore, Chair, CPAG

Ian Venamore 3I am privileged to contribute to LungNet News for the first time as Chair of the COPD Patient Advocate Group (CPAG). For those who don’t know me, I am a COPD patient and was diagnosed 12 years ago, completed pulmonary rehabilitation four years ago and have worked as a volunteer with Lung Foundation Australia on a number of programs and campaigns, and as the Queensland representative with CPAG.

This is an opportunity to remind and inform readers of the important role CPAG plays as part of Lung Foundation Australia’s COPD National Program. This advocacy group acts as a vital link to connect patients and carers with the Lung Foundation, to promote and support programs and campaigns in the wider community and, in return bring the issues of concern to patients and carers to the attention of the Foundation for evaluation and action within government and health authorities.

We need all states to be represented at the CPAG table and at the moment we urgently need delegates to represent Victoria and South Australia. If you are a patient or carer and live in either of these states and want to make a real contribution as a member of CPAG, please contact Lung Foundation Australia on freecall 1800 654 301 to find out more.

Those of you who have attended Patient Seminars recently may have been briefly addressed by a CPAG member about the group and its aims. To those attending in the near future, I would urge you to make yourselves known to your local CPAG member and discuss any concerns you may have in managing and living with COPD.

Recent and ongoing campaigns in which CPAG has been involved include the high priority application for Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item number approval for pulmonary rehabilitation and maintenance exercise; the provision of oxygen for both home and travel; and broadcast provision for air quality information in major population centres.

I look forward to bringing you further information on these and other topics in the November issue of LungNet News.

Yours in lung health,
Ian Venamore