The NCH Pulmonary Health & Wellness Center Plans Expansion

The NCH Healthcare System currently provides Collier County with its only Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center with two locations, the North Naples Hospital and on Marco Island. The facilities have become a valued service for countless residents battling lung disease. The three-month, 36-session program aims to help clients achieve an improved quality of life while minimizing symptoms. This is accomplished through monitored exercise routines, teaching breathing techniques and providing emotional and social support.
Pennie Finfrock checks Jim Hermes’s blood oxygen level during a therapy session
Pennie Finfrock checks Jim Hermes’s blood oxygen level during a therapy session
 
“Ninety-nine percent of the time — without secondary complications — we can really help these clients; and they tell you they’ve improved,” explains Pennie Finfrock, lead therapist at the NCH North Naples Pulmonary Health & Wellness Center.

Jim Hermes and Marino Kain, two Collier County residents with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) who have completed the program, would definitely agree.

“I could hardly get to the mailbox before,” Jim said. “Now I’m up to two miles, and I feel great.”

Marino was in a similar situation. “Before, I couldn’t even go 100 yards. Now they’re throwing me off the treadmill,” he joked. He can now achieve approximately an hour of walking. In both cases strength and endurance in their daily life routines have improved.

The Center’s benefits reach far beyond simple strength gains. They provide three different support groups to those who desire help. Also, the camaraderie that develops between those in the program going through similar struggles with the same diseases provides extra support. This support is magnified through the therapists who are always standing by ready to supervise when necessary. A client is never alone.

Lastly, there is often an unwanted stigma around those needing oxygen. Not only does the Center provide its clients with oxygen, but it also gives them a place where they no longer feel judged using it.

“I live in a nice community with a gym two minutes from my house with great equipment, but I wouldn’t go,” Jim explained. Instead, he wakes up early and at 8 a.m. he’s here at the North Naples Hospital Center ready to exercise.

Currently, the NCH Pulmonary Health & Wellness Center is raising money for an expansion of the North Naples Center that would not only double the square footage but also add all new equipment to offer services to more residents throughout Southwest Florida. It helps nearly 500 clients a year, but Collier County is estimated to have nearly 16,000 COPD and lung disease patients. The NCH Pulmonary Rehab program’s greatest hope is to reach out and be available to assist as many people in need as possible.

To arrange a tour or to make a donation toward the new NCH Pulmonary Health & Wellness Center, contact the NCH Healthcare Foundation at (239) 624-2000, or visit www.NCHmd.org/donate
For more information about NCH Pulmonary Rehabilitation services call (239) 624-6800


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