People with pulmonary fibrosis living in the Mercer and Bucks County regions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania now have access to a new pulmonary rehabilitation program.
The program, launched by Capital Health in December, will be located at the Wellness Center at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, in Pennington, New Jersey. It caters to patients with various lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and pulmonary fibrosis.
Those enrolled will be given comprehensive outpatient exercise and education to help them better manage disease symptoms and enjoy a greater quality of life.
Program fees are generally covered by insurance, Capital Health said in a press release, although co-pays may be required or coverage limited to a given number of visits. People interested are advised to check with their insurance carrier.
“Collaboration is the key to the program’s success, and participants see the benefits of this approach right from the start,” Diana Kolman, MD, director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at Capital Health and of the Interventional Pulmonary Program, said in the release.
Once patients obtain a physician’s referral for the program, they undergo lung function tests and interviews with the staff. Then, they will work closely with physicians, nurses, exercise physiologists, and respiratory therapists.
“Together, our team and your referring physician develop a customized, carefully coordinated program that helps strengthen breathing muscles and enhance daily living. Patients with severe emphysema may also participate in the program to determine if they are candidates for non-surgical treatment,” Kolman said.
According to Capital Health, all activities will be carefully designed and patients will be monitored using continuous electrocardiogram and heart rate monitoring, blood pressure measurements, and pulse oximetry — which helps evaluate oxygen levels in the blood.
Another major part of the program is education. Patients will participate in both individual and group discussions on topics that include nutrition, breathing retraining, preventing infections, oxygen use, medications, stress management, and conservation of energy.
Sessions are two times a week, either before or after they exercise. A meeting with a registered dietitian is also planned.
A given program’s length will depend on the patients’ individual needs and goals.
Those interested in more information on the program can find it here, or call 609-537-6420 to schedule an appointment.