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Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary Rehab 1
Welcome to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at St. Francis Hospital. Our program, which is located at the DeMatteis Center, is dedicated to improving the lives of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other lung diseases. Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive intervention to reduce symptoms and increase the level of daily activities and overall function in patients afflicted with chronic respiratory diseases. The patients participating in our program will notice that their functional status improves and that they gain an improvement in understanding their disease.

Exercise training is the basic component of pulmonary rehabilitation, but psychosocial support, breathing exercises, respiratory muscle training and other interventions are also utilized. Patients with chronic lung disease will often experience improvement in their functional independence.

Entry into our program is by referral from the patient’s pulmonary specialist, or primary care physician, and a screening process then takes place. If the patient qualifies, a cardiopulmonary exercise test is performed and the patient then enters our program. The length of our rehabilitation program is then determined and the patient can attend sessions several days per week. At the conclusion of our program, a complete report, including suggestions for self-maintenance is sent to the referring physician. All patients then receive an individualized exercise prescription from our team.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation - An Overview

St. Francis Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation out-patient program helps patients with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, complicated asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases, live as fully and independently as possible. Candidates for our physician-prescribed program include anyone whose activities are limited by chronic lung disease and shortness of breath. Our program may also be ideal for people with lung disorders who need conditioning in preparation for, or recovery after, different types of lung surgery. We offer alternatives beyond medication, oxygen therapy and breathing aids. Our respiratory specialists work with patients and their doctors to develop an individualized plan to improve physical fitness and exercise tolerance to reduce hospitalization and to lessen the impact of lung disease. Patients are provided with education (lectures, discussions and literature) and medically supervised exercise sessions in a supportive environment designed specifically for those with lung problems. The monitored exercise sessions (which included warm-up and cool down exercises, chest mobilization and monitored progressive cardiovascular exercises) are easily incorporated into their personal program. Family involvement is strongly welcomed and encouraged.


Conditions Treated

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Complicated asthma
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Chronic lung disease


Key Treatments

Pursed-lip breathing - With this exercise, inhaling in through the nose and exhaling out through pursed lips makes breathing easier. It can also help you regain control if you’re having trouble catching your breath.

Treadmill - The use of this exercise machine helps increase endurance, cardiovascular function and muscle strength. The machine also increases strength in the muscles that are used the most during walking.

Stationary bike - This exercise equipment can increase overall fitness; strength, endurance also builds leg muscles.

Arm ergometry - Described as a bicycle for the arms, patients use this machine to strengthen upper body muscles (forearms, chest, and back). Wattage/tension and repetitions are usually determined according to the patient’s ability.

Muscle training - These exercises include bench pressing, leg extension and lateral pull-downs. They helps build and restore the body around the lungs, so that the more muscle patients have to power the body, the more strength and effort they have to walk.

Stress management - Specialists help patients become aware of their anxiety levels, which is accompanied by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Patients are encouraged not to become anxious when they have shortness of breath.


Contact the Department of Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Contact Phone
Maryann Langis, RRT
Coordinator of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program
(516) 629-2102
Sue Palo, R.N., B.C., M.A.
Director of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

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