Glen Cove Hospital opened an outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program Monday for patients with various lung problems.
The new program helps those with chronic lung disease – including asthma, pulmonary hypertension, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), lung cancer, lung transplant and other conditions – to improve breathing and enhance their quality of life.
The comprehensive program emphasizes stretching, exercise on treadmills and a stationary bike, education, social support and home visits.
“Our pulmonary rehab specialists design a customized treatment plan to help strengthen patients’ muscles that improve breathing and overall pulmonary functioning,” said Thomas Howard, a respiratory therapist who serves also as the hospital’s director of respiratory therapy.
“Patients work one-on-one with respiratory therapists throughout the exercises and patients’ oxygen levels are closely monitored, making for a high quality and safe setting,” he added
Shirley Pinckney, a 73-year-old Glen Cove resident who suffers from pulmonary hypertension recently began attending the program.
“The therapists are kind and I’m very comfortable with the exercises because you go at your own pace,” Pinckney said. “We learn how to breathe correctly and are encouraged to practice leg lifts and other stretches while sitting at home watching TV.”
Before attending the Glen Cove pulmonary program, Pinckney traveled to LIJ Medical Center’s lung rehab program in New Hyde Park.
“It was getting to be too far and expensive for me to go there and this program is just what seniors in our community needed,” she npted.
“There are a handful of pulmonary rehab programs scattered in Nassau County,” said Dr. Martin Moskowitz, director of the critical care unit at Glen Cove and the pulmonary rehab program’s medical director.
“This program gives people coping with chronic lung diseases a top-notch option for rehab much closer to their homes,” he added.
Glen Cove Hospital also offers state-of-the-art pulmonary function testing.
“These tests are valuable because it helps us diagnose lung conditions, as well as help therapists understand patients’ lung capacity to better tailor a plan of care,” Moskowitz said.
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program comprises an interdisciplinary healthcare team that includes physicians, respiratory and physical therapists, nutritionists, case managers, social workers, homecare and palliative care specialists.
Photo: Howard Thomas, RT, director of respiratory therapy, and Barbara Barnett, MD, the hospital’s medical director, cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the new pulmonary rehab program. Participating in the event were: Marlo Graziose, RT, James Kiefer, RT, patient Shirley Pinckney of Glen Cove, Glenny Glen, a patient from Oyster Bay, and Martin Markowitz, MD, the program’s medical director. Credit: Glen Cove Hospital.