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Breathing easier is the goal

Thursday October, 31st 2019

Take a deep breath.


The DMH Interdisciplinary COPD team (from left, front row): Rhonda Daniel, Pulmonary Rehabilitation; Leslie McCarty, Pulmonary Rehabilitation; Teri Page, Home Health; Steven Arnold, MD; Gina Hoots, Pulmonary Services; (middle row) Brieanne Condie, Lung Center; Renea Hartsock, DMH Health Network; Curtis Newton, Medical Nursing; Amanda Conn, DMH Medical Group; Rachel Werkman, Lung Center; Sherry Behrends, Case Management; and (back row) Stephen Runyon, Home Medical Equipment; and Brandon Barringer, Pharmacy 340B. Not pictured are team members Donna Higgins, Lung Center; Signe Kimmel, Heart Center; Patty Morris, PFT Lab; Joanna Shepard, Emergency Care Center; and Katherine Stone, Regulatory Compliance.

Oct. 31, 2019…For an estimated 24 million Americans, that simple act can be difficult, if not impossible. The reason? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD labels a group of serious lung conditions that restricts air flowing through the lungs, making it hard for an individual to breathe.

This month marks both national Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) month and the ninth year since DMH formed an interdisciplinary team to help COPD patients manage the disease and live better, longer lives. The COPD team was born in 2010 and is led by Pulmonologist J. Steven Arnold, MD, Lung Center Medical Director. The team focuses on creating better patient outcomes through four treatment options: smoking cessation; pulmonary rehabilitation; proper inhaled medications and assessing need for supplemental oxygen.

Since 2012, DMH has received four straight two-year accreditations from The Joint Commission recognizing it one of the best hospitals for COPD treatment. In 2018, DMH earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for both Management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Advanced Certification in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The Gold Seal of Approval is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

COPD is not curable, but it is treatable. However, many individuals are unaware they have COPD until they have already lost 50 percent or more of their breathing ability. A pulmonary function test is the only test that can diagnose COPD.

About 90 percent of COPD cases are caused by smoking, which also makes it one of the most preventable diseases. Having any one of these three diseases indicates COPD if airflow obstruction is present and the patient has persistent respiratory symptoms: chronic bronchitis, emphysema and bronchiectasis. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

For more information, call the DMH Lung Center at 217-876-4200.