Two local Huron County Nurse Practitioners, Karen Atkinson and Stephanie Greenfield, have been gaining
expertise in rural lung health assessments for farmers. Both Karen and Stephanie completed their research
placement last year with Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health, as part of the University of Western
Ontario, Master of Nursing-Nurse Practitioner program, looking at best-evidence for lung health assessments. Both Stephanie and Karen have now graduated as NPs from UWO, and are hoping to continue their lung health assessments for farmers in Huron county, in their new role as primary health care nurse practitioners.
Written and photo by RM Dolinar Aug 2016
Preliminary Report of the Huron & Perth Counties Poultry Producers Lung Health study, presented at the Poultry Producers Chicken Classic Golf Tournament, Wednesday Sept 14, 2016
The Poultry Producers Lung Health pilot study was a great success, thanks to the Poultry producers of Huron and Perth counties. We completed lung health education sessions and spirometry testing for 16 farmers on August 3rd and 4th, 2016, at clinics held in Seaforth and Clinton Ontario. The success of these clinics was due in great part to support from Kelly Buchanan, Executive Director of the Huron community Family Health Team, and Kim Van Wyk, Executive Director of the Clinton Family Health Team.
All of the poultry farmers who participated in the study went through a formal N95 respirator fit-testing protocol, completed lung health questionnaires in paper and on-line formats, and received lung health spirometry testing. The spirometry report has been sent to the family physician of each participant for follow-up with their health care provider.
Preliminary results suggest that participants found that N95 fit testing confirmed that the respirators they used passed the fit-test. Participants found the on-line lung health questionnaire easy to use, when compared to the paper copy. Twenty-five percent of participants (25%) indicated that they wanted more information about respirators.
The lung health study has a final data collection in early November 2016.
Funding for this study was provided by The Lung Association through an Ontario Respiratory Care Society Fellowship Award.
The Poultry Producers Lung Health Study could not have happened without the great support of Brian Falconer and Alex Westerhout, Poultry Producers of Huron County, and Gwen Devereaux and Jim Whaley of Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health.
For further updates, please visit the Gateway Centre of Excellence in Rural Health web-site at
Brian Falconer, Jim Whaley, Rose-Marie Dolinar, Alex Westerhout, and Gwen Devereaux