Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Newport Hospital’s Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center has completed renovations to its outpatient therapy space and is now offering two new programs in addition to physical, occupational, cardiac and other therapies. Pulmonary rehabilitation and cancer rehabilitation began in May.
Patients who can benefit from pulmonary rehab include those with chronic (ongoing) lung diseases such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and neuromuscular disease. Pulmonary rehabilitation works in conjunction with medical therapy and involves clinicians from several areas of medicine and rehabilitation.
The program consists of patient education to help the patient understand his or her condition and to provide breathing strategies; exercise; nutritional counseling and other support. Individual plans are created for each patient based on his or her issues and needs, and the commitment and full participation of each patient is an essential part of the program. Pulmonary rehab does not replace medical therapy but works in conjunction with it.
Newport Hospital pulmonologist M. Yassin Hmadeh, MD, is the medical director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. The rehab team also includes respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, and might include psychologists and nurses, depending on the needs of each patient.
The rehab center also held an open house and kick-off party to announce its certification in the Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation (STAR) program, a program developed for cancer survivors by Julie Silver, MD, of the Massachusetts-based organization Oncology Rehab Partners.
Although Newport Hospital has offered rehabilitative therapies for decades, this is the first program to address problems that are specifically a result of cancer treatments. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery can cause medical issues that interfere with daily function: fatigue, weakness, insomnia, memory loss, anxiety and depression are common conditions during and after treatment.
Vanderbilt Rehab recently became a certified provider of the STAR Program, the goal of which is to help the patient reach optimal recovery and return him or her to as full and healthy a life as possible, with maximum function and a sense of well-being that often is lacking for cancer survivors. The program is appropriate for all survivors, whether they are beginning treatment, completing their course of treatment, or are having issues long after treatment has ended. The program comprises physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and swallowing therapists, registered dietitians and nutritionists, mental health professionals and social workers.
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