The Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at Chan Soon-Shiong Medical Center at Windber is accredited through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).  The program is recognized for its commitment to improving the quality of life by enhancing standards of care.  Accredited AACVPR programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is an outpatient program consisting of exercise, nutrition, support and education. The program teaches you about your lungs, how to exercise with less shortness of breath, how to eat healthier and "live" better with your lung disease. read The sessions are held 2-3 days a week for approximately 1 hour. During each session you will be monitored to insure safety and be guided as you build strength and endurance. This service is covered by most insurance.

Who benefits from Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Any person with a chronic lung disease can benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation. Examples of chronic lung conditions:

  • COPD (Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis)
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (including Pulmonary Fibrosis)
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Pre/Post Lung Volume Reduction Surgery and Surgeries after Lung Transplant
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Occupational lung diseases such as Black lung, Asbestosis and Silicosis

What are the benefits and components of Pulmonary Rehabilitation?
Decreased exercise tolerance and functional impairment are common consequences of chronic lung disease. Exercise will help you be more active with less shortness of breath. You will be exercising both your arms and legs. The exercise will help you to feel better and become stronger which can help you to be more independent. Exercise overtime can make walking and stair climbing easier.

By participating in education you will learn many things about your lung disease. Examples of educational topics include: what is wrong with your lungs, proper breathing techniques, proper use of medications, signs and symptoms of an infection, when to call your doctor, energy conservation, oxygen safety, and smoking cessation. Pulmonary rehabilitation can help reduce the number and length of hospital stays and increases your chances of living a longer healthier life.

Individuals with chronic lung disease often have significant alterations in nutritional status and body composition. Pulmonary rehabilitation provides individuals with consults with a registered dietician to help maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Individuals with chronic lung disease may experience fear and anxiety in anticipation of, and in association with, episodes of shortness of breath. It also produces an overall feeling of helplessness, withdrawal, and nervousness. Pulmonary rehabilitation provides support from others suffering from the same disease and therapists who understand what they are feeling.

Who may be involved in your care?

  • Physician
  • Respiratory therapist
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Dietician

What do patients have to say about their experience in pulmonary rehabilitation?

“I am so glad I chose CSSMC at Windber for my pulmonary rehabilitation.  My therapists increased my strength, endurance and confidence that I can continue to live a good life.  My dietician was also informative and reality based.  Finally, it was much easier to be in an atmosphere of acceptance and non-judgment among the programs participants.” Satisfied patient

“The pulmonary rehabilitation program has been a positive experience for me.  I fill it has really helped me to improve my overall health.”  Georgia P.

“Pulmonary rehabilitation has helped me understand my illness and deal with it better.  The exercise helped a great deal.”  Linda C.

“The pulmonary rehabilitation facility was well staffed with many clean, working machines available; and helpful, cheerful staff.  It also had large windows with relaxing, great views; lots of TV’s to watch when exercising; and clean restrooms.  I was excited to come to the pulmonary rehabilitation classes as I got stronger and my endurance increased.  My weight dropped as I became more conscious of what I was eating and what I should eat.  The exercises were not hard, yet got you moving from your head to your toes.  Encouragement and care from staff members April and Tonya was greatly appreciated." Linda E.

"I have learned more about the imp
ortance of better eating habits, being more consistent with my workouts on a daily schedule, proper breathing procedure and more dedicated to walking regularly for a prescribed distance.  I now have a better understanding of the importance of maintaining a daily schedule" Thomas F.

"I felt the pulmonary rehabilitation program has helped me to maintain what little lung function I have left, not to mention toning muscles and increasing stamina." Kenneth B.

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Talk to your doctor to see if pulmonary rehabilitation is right for you. Your decision to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation can make a difference in your overall health.

For questions or more information call 814.467.3118.