Lake District Hospital recently launched its new pulmonary rehabilitation unit, a department that will provide a variety of new services for patients facing respiratory-related health conditions.
The department is led by respiratory therapist Theresa Conklin, and officially opened on Monday, June 3.
Sessions will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Patients may qualify by referral from their physicians.
Initially designed with a focus on patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, Conklin said that she expanded the services to include other respiratory diagnoses.
Health conditions included under pulmonary rehabilitation include cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, chronic airway obstruction and more.
The twice-a-week sessions will include such topics as breathing retraining, energy conservation, exercise practices, healthy means of stress management and maintaining a healthy diet, among other elements.
The goals of the 36-session program includes providing patients with a greater deal of control over managing their condition, encouragement of independent exercise and developing knowledge of prescribed medications.
The reason for this is to maximize the utility of the department in a small community such as Lakeview, given the variety of conditions patients may have.
Conklin is no stranger to respiratory care, having earned her initial certification from Lane Community College in 2007.
She since then has worked for Harney District Hospital in Burns for four years (2007 to 2011), followed by a year in home care in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Conklin also received pulmonary rehabilitation training through St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
Conklin said her initial interest was in the sleep lab service offered by the hospital, for which her interview for the pulmonary rehabilitation department was inclusive.