Lung health is the focus of a new clinical fellowship at the Firestone Institute for Respiratory at St. Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton.
The collaboration between the Ontario Lung Association, Ontario Thoracic Society and biotechnology company, InterMune Canada, aims to advance the care and treatment of patients with Interstitial Lung Disease.
Dr. Noreen Mann is the recipient of the fellowship and will use it to gain more knowledge in the area of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis; a lung disease that has no known cause or cure.
“The fellowship is focused on training a clinician; someone who is going to then be equipped to go out into a community and set up a clinic to mirror the one that is here in this centre of excellence.”
IPF, which affects between 5 and 8 thousand Canadians, is a potentially fatal disease that causes scarring in the lungs and as it thickens and becomes more widespread, makes it harder to breathe and every day tasks like walking or getting dressed becomes a great challenge for those who suffer from it.
Dr. Mann says something like IPF has no known cause or cure, so her goal is to help patients like Paul Perron of St. Catharines, try to live a better quality of life.
Perron says this annoucement means a great deal to him, and others like him.
“You feel so alone because no one around you has the same affliction and no one around you knows what it’s all about and how to deal with it. When you to a place like this where it’s second nature, you just feel like, I belong.”