John DeFeo, Senior Exercise Specialist in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.
The Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation recently brought back and expanded its pulmonary rehabilitation program. Patients who have underlying Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or are on oxygen from other pulmonary issues can now seek physical therapy in Bacharach’s Pomona and Hammonton locations.
“There are very few pulmonary rehabilitation programs out there, yet there are many patients in need of programs like these,” said Ron Franceschini, M.Ed. CSCS, Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Bacharach’s Director of Cardiac Services. “The cardiac staff’s role in the program is to be a resource for and assist in treatment with the physical therapists.”
Patients are typically referred to the program by a doctor. A physical therapist will evaluate them by having them do a six-minute walk and other exercises. The therapist will work together with cardiac staff to develop a care plan that helps the patient improve overall function, and educates them on medication and dietary needs.
Jessica Cybolski, PT works with Pulmonary Rehab patients Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
“Patients will generally go through 14 to 18 sessions of therapy,” said Ron. “Pulmonary disease cannot be reversed, but we can preserve what they have and keep their lungs healthy by having them do simple exercises, such as walking, and complying with their medications.”
During therapy patients complete a variety of exercises including: walking on the treadmill, biking, light strength training and stretching to optimize the breathing muscles and help patients become more independent. Each patient’s heart rate, rhythm and pulse Ox is monitored while they exercise.
“I would say that 80 to 90 percent of our patients do well in the program,” said Ron. “Our goal is to try to increase function, make sure they are staying active, and make their limbs more efficient so there is less stress on the cardio-pulmonary system.”
For more information on the pulmonary rehabilitation program, call Bacharach at 609-652-7000.