Millen, GA | May 2, 2022 – Jenkins County Medical Center is excited to announce the opening of our Respiratory Care and Pulmonary Rehabilitation department. Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a medically supervised structured program designed to improve breathing and lessen the impact of chronic respiratory diseases and lung conditions. Chronic lower respiratory disease is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. The new program is designed to offer convenient and exceptional care for residents suffering from respiratory diseases in Jenkins County and surrounding areas.

Our Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is physician directed and provides each patient with an individualized personal treatment plan. Our program offers one-on-one treatment sessions with a qualified professional to ensure maximum results in a tightly monitored clinical environment. Patients are seen two or three times weekly for approximately 12 weeks. Our respiratory therapist will consistently monitor the patient’s vital signs during his or her session. Our patients will work on a variety of things from increasing strength and endurance through exercise, to learning how to clean their equipment at home properly to help reduce future infections and need for rehospitalization.

Keith Baker, Director of Pulmonary Rehab Services for JCMC states: “Most patients new to the program may think they will never be able to do any type of exercise only to find out they can. Patients with shortness of breath may start out walking on a treadmill for five minutes and will soon find out they can walk ten minutes! This is a huge accomplishment for them as well as boosts their morale.”

Antoine Poythress, CEO of Jenkins County Medical Center explains: “The Pulmonary Rehab program will be a great benefit to the citizens of Jenkins and the surrounding counties. Bringing specialty care services to the patient will increase the likelihood they will seek and continue treatment as well as improve their quality of life.”

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation helps with complex medical conditions that will improve the patient’s overall quality of life. The symptoms of COPD and for patients with post-COVID syndrome is shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, wheezing and chest tightness. The program helps by rebuilding the respiratory muscles, thus increasing the patient’s strength and endurance. Two thirds of patients with COPD who participate in pulmonary rehabilitation see improvement in their breathing and their quality of life.

In May 2020, the Journal of American Medical Association reported that a person hospitalized with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), can reduce their one-year mortality rate from 19.4% to 7.3% by attending a pulmonary rehabilitation program within 90 days post hospitalization. Although pulmonary rehabilitation is focused on COPD (chronic bronchitis/and or emphysema), other conditions appropriate for this program include patients with asthma, interstitial lung disease, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis, chest wall disease, neuromuscular disorders, ventilator dependency, lung cancer and before/after lung surgery for transplantation or lung volume reduction.

JCMC is committed to achieving positive results with patients participating in the Pulmonary Rehab program. To enroll in the program or for more information please call the respiratory care and pulmonary rehabilitation department at 478-982-4221 Extension 339.