J.C. Blair celebrates Pulmonary Rehab Week

HUNTINGDON – J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon is celebrating American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation’s National Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, March 12-18, promoting the benefits pulmonary rehabilitation can provide patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, initiated by the AACVPR, aims to educate the community about the role of pulmonary rehabilitation in enhancing the quality of life of individuals with chronic lung disease, according to a press release. This year’s theme, “Inspiration for Life,” honors individuals who struggle to overcome shortness of breath and the pulmonary professionals who work every day to alleviate that struggle and improve patients’ everyday life.

J.C. Blair’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program opened in 2014 to help patients with COPD and other lung diseases to best manage their condition, slow the progression of the disease and improve their quality of life.

Under the medical direction of Dr. Hany Shanoudy and registered respiratory therapist Brittany Horton, patients are enrolled in a 12-week program consisting of 36 sessions that include exercise, education, and psychosocial support.

Admission to the program requires a physician referral. Before starting the program all insurance will be checked and authorized, so patients will know what costs will be covered by their insurance.

Exercise is a key component of the pulmonary rehabilitation program. It is common for people with lung disease to limit activity because of shortness of breath but when inactive, muscle and heart strength decline. Patients learn exercise techniques that will help them regain control of breathing and learn how to work within their limitations. This may include walking, stationary cycling, or using the arm ergometer.

Patients interested in the program are invited to call J.C. Blair’s Cardiopulmonary Department at (814) 643-8645 and consult with their doctor about a possible referral. More information is available on the J.C. Blair Hospital website: www.jcblair.org.