November 2013 Edition - Health Matters

The latest news on the health and wellness issues that matter most • November 2013 Health Matters

Breathin g Easier: Imagine you or a loved one not being able to breathe—a debilitating feeling that permeates every area of life. Respiratory diseases like COPD affect millions of Americans, can be acquired in multiple ways, and are not always self-inflicted. The NCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center is making a dif- ference in the lives of those suffering with severe re- spiratory illness and lung disease by improving their quality of life. NCH Expands Pulmonary Rehab Center by Kelly Merritt

ing for the entire Rehabilitation Center, should someone step up to fund the project in its entirety. Pennie Finfrock, lead clinician at the rehab facility, lives and breathes the Center’s mission every day. “Help is available if your doctor has diagnosed you or a loved one with

November is National COPD

Risk factors for COPD include: • Shortness of breath, chronic cough and difficulty performing daily tasks • A smoker or former smoker over 40 • Exposure to chemicals and/or fumes • Specific genetic conditions Talk with your doctor about a simple breathing test called spirometry to diagnose COPD. He or she may refer you to NCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Awareness Month COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and it is the third leading cause of death in the United States. November is National COPD Awareness Month, sponsored by the US COPD Coalition to raise awareness of this serious, long-term debilitating illness. NCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a powerful resource for patients struggling with this disease. To make a donation toward the new NCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center, contact the NCH Foundation at (239) 624-2000, or visit www.NCHmd.org/donate.

“We have more patients who want to access this program than we have facilities to provide them,” said NCH’s Director of Respiratory Care Services Scott Wiley, who is working with the NCHHealth- care Foundation on the fundraising campaign. “It is not a case of ‘if you build it they will come’— patients need help now.” And now, a much-needed expansionof NCHPulmonaryRehab toprovide such life-changing services is possible. “This can become a reality with strong philan- thropic support,” said Jim Martin, Chief Develop- ment Officer for the NCH Healthcare System. NCH must raise $1 million to expand the Center. Naming opportunities are available—includ-

COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, or some other chronic lung disease,” said Finfrock.“Patients don’t have to sit in their house and worry about where their next breath will come from.” “The community is still greatly underserved, and while the program can not reverse the disease pro- cess, we can help improve overall quality of life and shortness of breath. For people on home oxygen therapy, in many cases the need for oxygen can be reduced, and in some cases home oxygen regimens can be eliminated altogether,” said Wiley. “Gradu- ates of our core program also receive aftercare

maintenance and benefit from the social support of fellow patients.” Wiley and Finfrock have seen patients go from being homebound to thriving. The Center’s physi- cal expansion will make room for patients to benefit from its vital services, create new educational space, provide better equipment for strength training, aerobics and stretching and encompass a host of other upgrades.

For more information on NCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation services call (239) 552-7878.

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