Breathing is something that most of us take for granted. For those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or other types of lung disorders, breathing can be difficult or nearly impossible.
Tri-City Medical Center's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program provides hope for those with breathing disorders such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis and other lung/chest diseases.
At Tri-City, we focus on education about your condition. Our caring, attentive staff will teach you how to control your breathing and improve your quality of life.
Tri-City Medical Center's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation. The program is coordinated by Valerie Naegele, a community leader in the field of Pulmonary Rehabilitation since 1992.
About the Program
Our comprehensive, 8-wk rehabilitation program consists of qualified, caring professionals providing assistance and support. The team is made up of a pulmonary rehabilitation coordinator, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, registered dietician and your physician. With your input, a customized treatment plan to optimize your quality of life will be created for you. During the outpatient program, you will interact with staff and other patients who understand and share similar aspects of your condition.
Different educational components are taught along with progressive, supervised exercise sessions that focus on improving your physical condition while utilizing pulmonary rehab concepts.
* Some of the Educational topics include but are not limited to:
- How Your Lungs Work
- Breathing Retraining / Panic Control
- Medications - Purpose and correct use
- Coping with Breathing Disorders
- Physical conditioning / Strength Training
- Recognizing / Preventing flare-ups
We are proud to announce that Valerie Naegele RRT, RCP, Pulmonary Rehab Coordinator, just celebrated her 150th Pulmonary Rehab class graduation! Each Rehab class is 8 weeks long. The celebration and graduation of the 150th class was held on Thursday, February 26th.
“Graduating 150 pulmonary rehab programs took me 23 years to accomplish,” said Valerie Naegele. “I could not have done this without my staff who with their help have developed a wonderful supportive team. We have helped improve the quality of lives for many
patients who have attended TCMC program. If they continue in our maintenance exercise program (held on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) after completing the program, we can continue to monitor and encourage them.”
“Valerie’s commitment to program excellence and to each and every one of her patient’s is recognized and truly awesome,”said Richard Cornwell, Pulmonary Services Manager. “ TCMC’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation program remains a Tri-City ‘Success Story’ today
because of Valerie and her great team of Sue, Krysti, Lynne and Margaret dedication to their patient’s!”
Pulmonary Rehab week begins March 9th. Thank you Pulmonary Rehab team for helping increase quality of life for patients!
How Do I Participate?
Referral from your physician is required prior to admission to the outpatient program. An Evaluation appointment is then scheduled with the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Coordinator. At the completion of your program, you will be invited to join the Maintenance phase. During this phase, you will be monitored while exercising at our gym which is offered 3 days a week. In addition, a monthly "Better Breathers Club" meeting is offered at Tri-City Medical Center through the American Lung Association which offers education and continued support at no additional charge.
Will My Insurance Cover Me?
Tri-City Medical Center's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is covered by Medicare and most private companies. Please call 760.940.3070 for more information regarding insurance coverage. We are open Monday - Friday, 7:30 am to 3 pm.
"When I was first diagnosed with COPD, I felt helpless. The Pulmonary Rehab team at Tri-City is outstanding. The program changed my life and gave me hope for a bright future."
-Rita Richards, Patient
Congratulations to Dr. Nielsen
Our very own Dr. Martin Nielsen, who founded the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program in 1980, is retiring. He began practicing at Tri-City Medical Center in 1978 and has spent his entire career here and we cannot thank him enough for all he has done.
Dr. Nielsen said, “This program has been vital to patients with COPD and other chronic lung diseases. It has been carefully and expertly nourished through the years by dedicated professionals who quietly improve the lives of very ill people who badly want to continue living. It has been an honor to see this program endure and grow over the years. I leave a wonderful group of friends, nurses, doctors, therapists and technicians who have dedicated their lives to helping others. However, it is comforting to know these professionals will continue forward with the same values which have helped so many people over the years.”
During his retirement the thing Dr. Nielsen said he is most looking forward to is the “freedom” of not being tied down to a schedule, as well as spending time with his wife Karen, who he met at Tri-City. Dr. Nielsen and his wife plan to travel, explore other interests, and catch up on old friendships.
While Dr. Nielsen has closed his outpatient practice, he will continue to assist his colleagues with hospital inpatient calls while they look for a replacement. Thank you Dr. Nielsen for all of your dedicated years advancing the health and wellness of those we serve! We wish you well in all of your future endeavors!
We are located at the rear of the hospital in the NW Corner next to Behavioral Health