ot all pulmonary diseases can be fully cured - but the quality of life for many patients can be improved through enrollment in Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs at Winthrop, where programs are individually tailored to specific diagnoses, clinical needs, and lifestyles. Patients who benefit most are those diagnosed with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, bronchiectasis, interstitial fibrosis, sarcoidosis, asbestosis, and scleroderma.
The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, directed by Jonathan S. Ilowite, MD, Director, Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, is provided through Winthrop's Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, chaired by Michael S. Niederman, MD, an internationally known specialist, caregiver, researcher, and scholar. The Medical Staff is supported
with registered nurses, respiratory therapists, physical therapists,
psychologists, pharmacists, and social workers, who contribute professionally to the multi-disciplinary Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
Now in its 11th year, the Program is coordinated by Mara Bernstein, RT, and boasts of more than 800 patient "graduates." Meeting three times per week for nine weeks, for two hour sessions, the Program provides education, exercise, and group support. A home maintenance regimen - with an individualized exercise program - is prepared for each pulmonary rehabilitation patient prior to "graduation." And all patients are offered ongoing maintenance exercise programs in the pulmonary medicine exercise room.
During the past decade, a substantial number of "graduates" have gone on to enroll in Winthrop's "Eager Breathers" - a support group which meets monthly, to review the pulmonary educational topics learned previously, to become acquainted with emerging technologies, to share personal success stories, and to provide mutual support.
Asthma. Patients with asthma benefit from the collaborative relationship between the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program and Winthrop's Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Asthma. Grace Trimmer, RN, MSN, Nurse Specialist/Pulmonary Rehabilitation, focuses on the adult asthma patient, coordinating care and patient education with Gayle Unterweiser, RN, Nursing Care Coordinator, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Asthma.
Winthrop's "Lung Center Calendar" lists free evening lecture programs, presented by pulmonary medicine specialists, on smoking, snoring, sleep disorders, asthma, COPD, and other related topics. Each session includes free pulmonary function testing, plus a physician's interpretation of the results. Winthrop's ongoing Adult Asthma Education Programs, Asthma Support Group, and Lung Center Lecture Programs are currently funded by a grant from the Stony-Wold Herbert Foundation.
Winthrop's four-session "Freedom from Smoking Program" is presented in association with the American Lung Association of Nassau-Suffolk. The program identifies smoking as an addiction, and provides various ways to motivate the participant to quit - permanently - using proven behavior modification techniques. A nominal tuition fee is required.
The Oxygen Support Group
is a free support group for patients whose pulmonary condition requires the support of a mini portable oxygen tank.
Special Services for Hospitalized Pulmonary Patients. Should the adult patient with a pulmonary diagnosis need hospitalization, Winthrop's multidisciplinary Special Care Unit for Pulmonary Patients focuses on those requiring oxygen therapy, respiratory treatments, and close monitoring of respiratory status. Eight beds are reserved for patients on chronic ventilation.
When a patient is ready for discharge, Winthrop's Home Care Program's professionals evaluate the patient's home environment and provide homecare when necessary. Additionally, referrals are made to Winthrop's outpatient pulmonary support groups and related programs.
For information about any of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs, please contact Mara Bernstein, RT at 516-663-2579.