Pulmonary Rehabilitation

What is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

  • Pulmonary Rehabilitation may help you participate in activities with less shortness of breath, as well as teach you how to “live” better with your lung condition.
  • A service designed for those who have lungs problems such as:
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Emphysema
    • Chronic Bronchitis
    • Bronchiectasis
    • Sarcoidosis
    • Pulmonary Hypertension
    • Pulmonary Fibrosis
    • Interstitial Lung Disease
    • Lung Cancer and lung cancer surgery
    • Lung transplantation (pre- and post- surgery)
    • Chronic Asthma
    • Obesity-related respiratory disease
    • Occupational or environmental lung disease
    • Lung injury from COVID -19
  • A physician-supervised, multi-disciplinary team including Registered Nurses, Registered Respiratory Therapists, Masters-Prepared Exercise Physiologists, Registered Dieticians, Pharmacists, Chaplain Services, and Resource Case Managers.
  • An individualized and personalized treatment program, including evaluation and instruction on physical activity, nutrition, medications, stress & anxiety management, lung disease/condition education, and other health related areas.

Benefits of Pulmonary Rehabilitation


Although Pulmonary Rehab (PR) can’t cure your lung disease, you may notice the benefits in these signs:

  • Improved breathing effort and less breathing problems
  • Quality of life improvement!
  • Decrease the symptoms of your disease or condition
  • Ability to function better in your daily life
  • Increased ability to exercise
  • Decreased symptoms of your disease or condition
  • Help you manage anxiety or depression
  • Allows you to make the most of the limited lung function you have
  • Learn more about your disease, treatment options, and chronic disease coping strategies

Pulmonary Rehabilitation offers information about:

  • Medications, including drug action, side effects, using an inhaler, and self-care techniques
  • Understanding and using oxygen therapy
  • Diet, nutrition, and weight management
  • Breathing retraining
  • Importance of exercise
  • Strategies for managing breathing problems
  • Symptom assessment and knowledge about when to seek medical treatment
  • Beginning and maintaining a personalized exercise plan that works for you and is tailored to your needs
  • Other conditions you may also have including:
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Elevated cholesterol
    • Heart disease
    • Heart failure
  • Psychological/stress assessment and counseling
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Opportunity to meet and share stories with other patients like you
  • Improved communication with your doctor and other healthcare providers about your progress

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

This program begins once your doctor has provided a referral. If you are interested in joining our Pulmonary Rehab group, please discuss it with your primary care physician or pulmonologist. The Cardiovascular & Pulmonary Rehab team will then help you get started in our program. Our gym is located on the second floor of Bellin Hospital, next to the Cardiology Associates office.

Patients are scheduled into classes one or two days per week. We do our best to work with you to find a program time that fits your busy schedule. You may need one to two months, or even longer to learn how to exercise at a safe level, manage your lung condition, develop a healthier lifestyle, and work towards your personal goals. Most programs last between 4-18 weeks. Prior to beginning your exercise program, we establish your condition with a six-minute walk assessment.

During Pulmonary Rehab you will:

  • Have your oxygen level, heart rhythm (if needed), heart rate, blood sugar (if needed), and blood pressure monitored.
  • Exercise in a safe, monitored environment with trained staff. We place emphasis on personalized aerobic activity, muscle strengthening, balance, and flexibility.
  • Have weekly education classes for you and your family taught by Registered Respiratory Therapists, Registered Dieticians, Pharmacists, and Pulmonary Rehab staff.
  • Set personal goals and develop an individual treatment plan with strategies to help you make lifestyle changes. This program is tailored to your personal needs, abilities and interests.
  • Have your progress tracked and reported to your primary physician or Pulmonologist.
  • Be given home exercise guidelines.
  • Have your exercise supervised by Nurses and Exercise Physiologist trained to deliver emergency treatment if needed.

Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is Certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), so you can feel confident that you’re getting the highest level of care.

Does insurance cover Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

The majority of insurance companies will cover all, or a portion, of Pulmonary Rehab services. We do encourage you to call your insurance company for verification of coverage. Please contact us if you have questions on what to talk to your insurance company about. 

We look forward to working with you and your family! Please call us with any questions about how to get started in Pulmonary Rehab. Our number is (920) 433-3626.