Franciscan Healthcare-Munster Develops Outpatient Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

By: Franciscan Health Last Updated: August 6, 2014

New-Pulmonary-Rehabilitation-Program-Opens-01Franciscan Healthcare-Munster has developed an inpatient and outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program. This program provides chronic obstructive pulmonary patients (COPD) patients with pulmonary rehabilitation that focuses on exercise, self-care and nutrition education.

The respiratory therapy department is focusing their efforts on the hospital’s inpatient population and recently released patients. Over time, the program will expand to include other hospitals, clinics and the surrounding community. “We are slowly building this program but our ultimate vision is BIG,” said Vicki Lang BSM, RRT, CRTT, manager of respiratory care at Franciscan Healthcare-Munster. “Our goal is to reduce the number of hospital readmissions and create a healthier Northwest Indiana.”

The program consists of four phases (I, II, III, and IV) of rehabilitation. Each phase provides close medical supervision, including continuous monitoring of vital signs. The program is designed to meet the needs and abilities of participants at their individual stage of health recovery.

New-Pulmonary-Rehabilitation-Program-Opens-02Phase I is specific to hospitalized patients.
Phase II rehabilitation is conducted on an out-patient basis and is open to anyone requiring pulmonary rehabilitation. While in Phase II, individualized treatment plans are designed for each participant that includes exercise, education and counseling in areas such as quitting smoking, weight control and medication use. During this phase, participants are taught how to manage chronic lung disease.
Phase III of the pulmonary rehabilitation program acts as a bridge between monitored exercise and a self-care program.
Phase IV is designed for participants who wish to continue their exercise program in a medically supervised setting. While in Phase IV, participants receive additional education regarding how to self-monitor oxygen levels and heart rates.

“The pulmonary rehabilitation program is a wonderful addition to Franciscan Healthcare-Munster as the hospital enters into an era of rapid expansion,” says Elliot Stokar, MD, Medical Director of Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Franciscan Healthcare-Munster.

The pulmonary rehabilitation department is staffed by registered respiratory therapists, registered nurses and exercise physiologists. Patients have access to a variety of exercise equipment including treadmills, stationary bicycles, recumbent steppers, arm ergometers and free weights.

Franciscan Healthcare-Munster is a part of Mishawaka-based Franciscan Alliance. Other Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Region hospitals include Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond, Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point and Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City.