Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis has appointed its first Regional Support Coordinators to ensure that more people with pulmonary fibrosis have good local support.
Joanna Ruck, the new RSC North, and Gillian Trippner, the new RSC South, will be working to develop a growing network of support groups for people living with PF, a condition which causes increasing breathlessness affecting every aspect of life.
Joanna (‘Jo’) Ruck
Joanna, an experienced Respiratory Physiotherapist, has worked in hospital and community settings and held both clinical and team lead and managerial roles. Coming from a clinical background, Jo have experienced first-hand the anxiety and isolation felt by patients and their families when given a diagnosis of Pulmonary Fibrosis and in coping with the condition after diagnosis.
Jo also helped to set up and co-run a local PF Support Group and quickly realised the positive benefits and impact this had on patients and families. She says:
I am really looking forward to working with you all to develop and expand our support networks so that no-one living with the condition has to feel alone and everyone has access to good quality support, wherever they live
My aim is to ensure that both established and newly forming groups feel supported, connected and involved in campaigns and research, resulting in a better and brighter future for all those living with and affected by pulmonary fibrosis.”
Gillian originally trained as a nurse and has worked for the health service for many years, in hospitals, the community, and in primary care. Most recently Gillian has worked with the voluntary sector and local partners to set up new services including a social prescribing service and carer support services for children and for adults. Gillian also managed an Innovation Conference Fund to help local voluntary groups run projects that improve health and wellbeing.
I am really looking forward to my new role and hope to make a real difference to people who have pulmonary fibrosis, their family, carers and friends.
Jo and Gillian will be working as a team with APF National Support Manager, Debra Chand, to support more than 75 PF groups across the UK and encourage the development of new groups, so that more people living with Pulmonary Fibrosis have access to good support locally.