Sarah Wright RK, CSEP CEP, Craig Dickson RRT, Dr. Sudhakar Dawadi, Lynn Dashkewytch (St Josephs Hospital Foundation Executive Director), Dr. Pedro Camacho, Mandy Johns (Town of Comox Recreation Director), Dr. Sara Sandwith, Barb Paulson RN, Jill Nelson BCRPA Fitness Leader and pilot program graduate Emily Schroeder on the recumbent stepper.

The Comox Valley Cardio-Pulmonary Wellness program will be available to members of the community with heart and lung conditions starting in January 2015.

The concept for this program started when a healthcare team from St. Joseph’s saw a need for an accessible and sustainable exercise programs for people with heart and lung problems. A pilot project was completed in 2014 via funding through the First Open Heart Society and St Joseph’s Hospital Foundation from donations. Six clients graduated from the 8 week education and exercise program. Clients had a 20% increase in exercise capacity and improved quality of life. One graduate has avoided starting home oxygen therapy, and another is taking a trip to Paris that she never thought would be possible.

The steering committee, made up of St Joseph’s medical staff, a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist, and St Joseph’s Hospital Foundation has partnered with the Town of Comox for the next phase of the program. The program utilizes the Living Well with COPD and St Paul’s Healthy Heart education modules, and the policies and procedures for the community based, Island Health supported Take Heart exercise program, which has been running for years throughout Vancouver Island.

The program starts January 2015 at the Comox Community Centre twice weekly and will be led by a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist, BCRPA 3rd Age Fitness Leader and additional health care professionals. The cost of the 12 week program is $384 ($16/session) and subsidy may be available through the St Joseph’s Hospital Foundation for those who qualify. Physician referral is required. Referrals can be found on both the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation and the Town of Comox websites.

Questions about the program can be directed to Sarah Wright at or the Comox Community Centre. If you would like to make a donation to support this program contact Lynn Dashkewytch 250-890-3046.