PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

July 25, 2013

Medical Center of Southeast Texas adds pulmonary program

PORT ARTHUR — For pulmonary patients in Mid County, a therapy session will no longer require a trip to Beaumont.

The Medical Center of Southeast Texas recently upgraded its rehab center to include state-of-the art equipment for pulmonary patients, as well as cardiovascular.

“We are the only pulmonary rehab in this part of the county,” said Paul Guidry, clinical coordinator for cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation. “With the refineries, we have respiratory issues — it’s needed in this area.”

The pulmonary patients undergo a 12-week program, with most insurance covering 36 sessions. During what Guidry called Phase 2 of the program, the patients are monitored while exercising on the various treadmills and bicycles the facility has to offer. They also consult with a dietician and a pharmacist, who help them begin making lifestyle changes. From a screen in his office, Guidry submits the latest data on pulmonary health to televisions in the exercise room so that the patients stay updated.

“The more you can empower patients, the healthier they become,” Guidry said.

During Phase 3, Guidry said, the responsibility falls to the patients.

“In Phase 2, they’re like a two-year-old — you have to help them,” he said. “In Phase 3, they’re on their own, but if they get in trouble, they have the comfort that they do have medical people in a hospital setting.”

Upon completion of the program, the patients attend a graduation ceremony that includes a cap and gown. Guidry supplies them with a book called “Active Partnership” that educates patients about risk factors and dietary choices associated with pulmonary issues.

In light of all the changes, the clinic that once received 120 visits per month now receives 700. As a heart attack survivor, Guidry understands the necessity of appropriate pulmonary health — and he isn’t the only one.

“The pulmonologists have been asking for it,” Guidry said. “They’re elated that we have something to address the needs of their patients.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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