Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease  


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is an obstruction of air flow to the lungs, decreasing their ability to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are the three major diseases comprising COPD.  

Symptoms include chronic cough, shortnessof breath, chest tightness, and increased effort to breathe. People with such chronic breathing difficulties are not cured but can be helped through a pulmonary rehabilitation program.  

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program


HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital offers a 12-week personalized program designed to aid those suffering from COPD. Goals of the program include:  

  • Reducing the number of hospitalizations  

  • Improving endurance during exercise  

  • Improving motivation and self-confidence  

  • Slowing the natural progression of the disease  

  • Specially trained staff including a respiratory therapist and a registered nurse work in conjunction with your physician, helping you achieve the highest possible functional capacity and improve your quality of life.  


Treatment methods are tailored to your individual needs and include:  

  • Educational sessions about COPD coping mechanisms  

  • Exercise conditioning  

  • Bronchial hygiene techniques  as needed  Nutritional evaluation by the hospital’s dietitians  

  • Respiratory muscle strengthening  

  • Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy  evaluations if needed  

Pulmonary Rehab details


Pulmonary rehabilitation sessions are offered on a tri-weekly basis (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation exercise room on the fourth floor.  

St. Mary’s pulmonary rehabilitation program is open to any non-smoker with a documented diagnosis of restrictive pulmonary disease or COPD. A written physician’s referral is required. The total cost of the program depends upon the number of services required. Generally, health insurance policies including Medicare will cover or partially cover services provided by the program. Contact your insurance company for more details.  

Program Completion  
St. Mary’s pulmonary rehabilitation program offers ongoing assistance to help you maintain optimal pulmonary capacity and endurance, even after you’ve completed the program.  

Contact Information  
For more information, please call St. Mary’s Pulmonary Function Laboratory at
217-464-2603 or Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at 217-464-2056.  

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