August 11, 2014

Lungs in Action Latest News: Wollongong Services Unite For a Common Goal

Wollongong LIA

After completing pulmonary rehabilitation, it is important that a person with a chronic lung condition has access to a safe and supportive ongoing community based exercise class specific to their health condition to help them keep well and out of hospital. Such a program did not exist in Wollongong until recently, when services within the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District decided to work together to give pulmonary rehabilitation graduates this opportunity.

After communicating the benefits of a Lungs in Action program to Franca Facci, Stream Leader for Chronic Care, Ambulatory and Primary Health Care, and gaining a positive response, pulmonary rehabilitation physiotherapists Kristi-Lee Muir and Anita Jurjevic were fortunate to obtain some funding to develop and trial a Lungs in Action class. Teaming up with Wollongong City Council’s Beaton Park Leisure Centre, three exercise professionals completed Lung Foundation Australia’s Lungs in Action Training to become accredited instructors and were mentored and supported by Kristi-Lee and Anita through the process.

Twenty three pulmonary rehabilitation graduates completed the initial 12 week trial and there was an overwhelmingly positive response from the participants, instructors, and the local pulmonary rehabilitation program. Feedback from the trial participants focused on the health and wellbeing benefits they gained from both the physical and social components of the class, which enabled them to complete the everyday activities they enjoyed most. One participant said “After five years, I played my first game of tennis, and even better, I aced my sister!” For others, the ongoing support and assistance provided by the specially trained instructors kept them motivated to continue attending, “The care and motivation that our instructors provided for us individually and as a group helped us to maintain a level of exercise appropriate for each person’s needs. I thank them for their professionalism and help”.

Thanks to the dedication, time and effort from all the services involved, Lungs in Action will now continue to run in Wollongong twice weekly at Beaton Park Leisure Centre by instructors Mark Middleton, Rebekkah Middleton and Dejan Piljevic. For further information, or if you are interested in attending this class, please contact Kristi-Lee Muir on 02 4253 4502. To find out about other Lungs in Action classes across the country, please visit our website

Lung Foundation Australia thanks Sunshine Coast Medicare Local for supporting Lungs in Action classes in their region. If you are interested in attending the Gympie program, call Gympie Allied Health on 07 5370 6470, or for the Sunshine Coast programs, call Curtis on 0431 328 334.