The Canadian Lung Association

The Canadian Lung Association
Medavie Blue Cross

Medavie Blue Cross

November 28, 2014 16:57 ET

Medavie Blue Cross Partners With Lung Association to Tackle Lung Disease

- One in 5 Canadians lives with lung disease including asthma and COPD

- More than 2.8 million Canadians live with asthma

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 28, 2014) - A new partnership between Medavie Blue Cross and the Canadian Lung Association will help link people living with or at risk of chronic respiratory disease to a country-wide network of respiratory care support and awareness services.

The partnership forms the basis of a new targeted disease management approach offered to private plan members and their families beginning in early 2015.

Medavie Blue Cross is the first insurance provider in Canada to introduce this as a new, extended health care benefit in group and individual health plans.

The Canadian Lung Association is the leading organization in Canada working to save lives, prevent and improve lung health through research, advocacy, education and support. With this new agreement, the Association will help Medavie Blue Cross mobilize accessible lung health professionals across the country.

Through this initiative, health professionals who are a Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE) or Certified Asthma Educator (CAE) will offer services, awareness campaigns and risk interventions tied to lung health and disease management. A certified respiratory educator is a health-care professional who has achieved further training to advance the skills, knowledge and competencies in providing comprehensive education for clients living with asthma and COPD and has obtained the CRE credential. A certified asthma educator (CAE) refers to a credential related to asthma education.

Mobilizing a provider network enables a focused strategy for patient engagement - ensuring that eligible members are aware of the benefit and those in need accessing the services.

In addition to the Canadian Lung Association, the initiative has involved other lead community advocates and stakeholders. GlaxoSmithKline Inc. has provided sponsorship funding towards the development of employee lung health management programs by Medavie Blue Cross.


Shelley Kee, Vice President, Group Business, Medavie Blue Cross: "In our discussions with key stakeholders, we recognized a need for a solution for plan members and their families to better manage their chronic disease treatment plan. Lung disorders are a leading cause of productivity losses from Short Term Disability absences in Canada. We are excited about the potential to help people manage their chronic lung health issues through this innovative benefit plan design, and the partnership with the Canadian Lung Association. It's a solid foundation from which we can build as we explore future managing chronic disease programs and partnerships."

Debra Lynkowski, President and CEO, Canadian Lung Association: "We are very excited about this innovative partnership with Medavie Blue Cross that will provide thousands of Canadians with access to certified respiratory educators. These specially trained lung health professionals will be able to help those with asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) better manage their chronic lung disease. This sharing of knowledge and expertise will help thousands of Canadians to breathe easier."

Dina Brooks, Chair of the Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals: "As Canada's only inter-disciplinary professional society for lung health professionals, we are pleased to be involved in this leading-edge partnership that will set a new standard of patient care."

Quick Facts

  • Lung disorders are a leading cause of productivity losses from Short Term Disability absences in Canada.

  • The annual cost of employing a person who smokes has risen to $4,262 per employee who smokes.

  • Asthma/COPD claimants represent 16 per cent of total claimants for Medavie Blue Cross book of business.

Related links

About The Lung Association

Established in 1900, The Lung Association is one of Canada's oldest and most respected health charities, and the leading national organization for science-based information, research, education, support programs and advocacy on lung heath issues.

About Medavie Blue Cross

Medavie Blue Cross is a not-for-profit organization that provides health, dental, travel, life and income replacement products to small and large companies in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and Quebec and to individual customers in Atlantic Canada. It also administers various provincial and federal government sponsored health programs. Our shareholder is the community. As a not-for-profit organization, giving back to the community is one of our core values. We're proud of our more than 1,900 employees who donate their time and money to support healthy outcomes in communities across the six provinces where we operate. Through our Building Healthy Communities program and the Medavie Health Foundation, we contribute 13% of our annual net income to the communities where our clients and colleagues live and work.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Canadian Lung Association
    Janis Hass
    Director of Marketing and Communications
    613-569-6411 ext 252

    Medavie Blue Cross
    Paul Power
    Communications Advisor
    (506) 867-4362