HCN News & Notes

Chicopee Gardens Launches Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

CHICOPEE — Chicopee Gardens for Nursing and Rehabilitation recently announced the launch of a new physician-led pulmonary program to treat patients with COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, asthma, and trach care.

In partnership with Valley Pulmonary Medical Associates, the program is designed to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, while decreasing the number of patients returning to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.

Some key elements of the program include oversight by Valley Pulmonary Medical Associates physicians, an on-site respiratory therapist, education for nurses, specialty equipment, trach care management and suctioning of trach patients, and education for patients on medication and disease management.

“Our pulmonary program is a game changer,” said Tom Rackliffe, nursing home administrator at Chicopee Gardens and a licensed respiratory therapist. “COPD and other respiratory-disease sufferers unfortunately have high rates of acute exacerbations at home and rehospitalizations due to poor disease management of the disease and lack of education. We’re providing a much-needed service to an expanding community of patients that, until now, have had limited treatment options.”

Patients, he added, will perform everyday tasks with less shortness of breath, stay healthier and avoid exacerbations, learn to manage disease, decrease symptoms, maintain healthy behaviors, increase their ability to exercise, better manage anxiety and depression, and decrease their length of stay in the nursing home.

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