Would you like to learn more about your breathing?


Our Registered Respiratory Therapists provide basic lung function tests.

Holly Mitchell

Holly Mitchell

Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)
Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE)

Holly has been an RRT for 12 years, graduating from Dalhousie in 2004. Following Dal, she went on to complete extensive asthma and COPD education over a three year period. Holly completed her training in 2007 to become a CRE.

What to expect

Respiratory Clinics from Family 1st

When you attend a Family 1st Respiratory Clinic, you can expect that the appointment will be approximately one hour. It will include spirometry condition specific education (what it is, symptoms, what to expect, etc.), respiratory medication review and medication device technique education. A full report will also go to the patient’s Doctor.

Family 1st Medical hosts Respiratory Clinics at their New Minas and Antigonish locations.

Our Respiratory Education Clinics take the pressure off wait times in our local hospitals.

A waiting lines at your local hospital for medical services can be long, private companies have stepped up to provide clinics to help assess and assist your respiratory health. Family 1st Medical now provides a Respiratory Clinic at their New Minas and Antigonish locations.

Family 1st Respiratory Clinics are conducted by a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) who is also a Certified Respiratory Educator (CRE). Respiratory education primarily means providing condition specific information for asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients.

RRT Holly Mitchell is Family 1st Medical’s CRE. Holly also provides home oxygen clients care in their homes and works with those with sleep apnea with (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) equipment).

When asked how one becomes a CRE, Holly said, “You must take additional training through the Lung Association. I have been an RRT for 12 years, graduating from Dalhousie in 2004. Following Dal, I went on to complete extensive asthma and COPD education over a three year period. I completed my training in 2007 to become a CRE”.

According to Holly a CRE is open to any health professional but the large majority of active educators are RRT’s and Registered Nurses (RN).

When asked what is the difference between going to a family Doctor for guidance or attending a Respiratory Education Clinic, Holly responded by confirming that it’s “one on one” individual education. The clinics are scheduled to provide dedicated time to review things that a family Doctor simply may not have time to review,” she said. “Condition specific, medication options and medication directions are all covered.”

Many people may ask why their Doctor doesn’t just refer them to the respiratory department at their local hospital, but Holly confirmed that spirometry testing (a simple breathing test), can have a three to five month waiting list at most hospital.

Holly outlined that patients should bring to the clinic any puffers and respiratory medications they are currently using (including aero chambers and spacer devices).

“It’s generally felt that children under the age of eight are not able to complete spirometry testing. It would be preferred if clients have already received a diagnosis of asthma or COPD. Our clinics are not necessarily designed to be used as a screening tool”.

There is a moderate fee for respiratory appointments. If you have Blue Cross private health insurance the fee is 100% reimbursable. For more information on clinic dates and fees please call the toll free number 1-800-565-2021 or email us.