A Better Breathers Club® is a local support group that offers patient-centered, and community-based educational opportunities to persons with chronic lung disease (especially COPD, but also asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis [IPF], lung cancer and other chronic lung diseases) and their families, friends and support persons. Volunteers facilitate all support groups and work with a Lung Association staff member to provide the service.
What Is a Better Breathers Club Certified Facilitator?
A Better Breathers Club facilitator can be a community member or leader, health professional or health educator who likes working with adults. Some knowledge and experience with chronic lung disease is preferred, but not required.
A Better Breathers Club Certified Facilitator is a person who:
- Has experience facilitating meetings or groups;
- Demonstrates excellent organization, planning and listening skills;
- Wants to help adults learn better management and life skills to improve their lung health and quality of life;
- Can relate to adults from diverse backgrounds living with a chronic lung disease; and
- Provides support for group member concerns and referral to resources in the community for extra help.
Great facilitators are important to running an ongoing Better Breathers Club. With over 40 years of nationwide implementation, word quickly spread that patients felt the support groups offered them something nothing else did—a sense of belonging and hopefulness in being able to cope with their disease.
Years of feedback from participants show that effective facilitators have good organizational skills, listening skills, are flexible and adaptable to changes. They also have a genuine sense of empathy for adults with chronic lung disease.
In addition to those characteristics, each Certified Facilitator:
- Must not have used tobacco in any form for at least 12 months
- Must complete the Better Breathers Club Certified Facilitator Training from the American Lung Association
Becoming a Better Breathers Club Certified Facilitator
Better Breathers Club Certified Facilitators must complete an online training course that includes basic information about starting a Club, recruiting and retaining members, planning and implementing engaging and supportive meetings and working with diverse groups of adults.
For more information about becoming a Better Breathers Club Certified Facilitator in Virginia, contact:
Specialist, Health Promotions
American Lung Association in Virginia
Page last updated: March 12, 2020