HONESDALE — “I haven’t been in the hospital once since I started Pulmonary Rehabilitation back in 2012!” said a very proud Judi Pinksaw of Honesdale. Pinksaw was one of close to a dozen pulmonary rehab patients at Wayne Memorial Hospital who helped the staff kick off Pulmonary Rehabilitation Week, March 10-16th. All had gone through the regular, 36-session program, and many have returned on their own, at their own cost, for the Maintenance Program.

“Pulmonary Rehab helped improve my condition,” said Audrey Faison of Honesdale, “and I want to keep improving—so I come back.”

Valerie and Steve Stout, both respiratory therapists, man the unit at Wayne Memorial Hospital. “Our programs, both the regular Pulmonary Rehab and the Maintenance Program, consist of exercise training and education to increase endurance,” explained Valerie, “but we tailor everything to a patient’s condition and health goals. It’s very individualized.”

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is often recommended for people who suffer from a chronic lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pulmonary fibrosis.

The programs are designed to improve lung function, reduce symptom severity and improve quality of life. Patients “learn to exercise with less shortness of breath,” which for many is enough to inspire them to go on the Maintenance program.

“It gets you moving, it really does,” said Cheryl Thomas of Honesdale.

Judy Mohn, Beach Lake, agreed. “Moving is good,” she said.

The celebration also included a cake, fruit and mini-bottles of bubbles—“the blowing helps exercise the lungs,” Valerie noted with a smile. “It’s healthy and fun!”

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at Wayne Memorial Hospital is overseen by board-certified pulmonologist Sean McVeigh, MD.