The Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation Center
The Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary & Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at MedStar St. Mary's Hospital is named after Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, a Maryland attorney; business manager for husband and famous newsman Ted Koppel; and national patient advocate for the COPD Learn More Breathe Better® Campaign from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.
In 2001, Grace Anne was diagnosed with a very severe case of COPD and given a few years to live. COPD is a group of lung diseases including emphysema, refractory asthma, chronic bronchitis, and bronchiectasis. Instead of taking the prognosis as a death sentence, Grace Anne began pulmonary rehabilitation and through hard work and dedication increased her lung capacity from 26 percent to almost 60 percent today. Since 2007, she has shared her experiences on a national platform and is a testament to not letting her health slow her down.
Former ABC News "Nightline" anchor Ted Koppel had the idea for the creation of the center and donated funds as a gift to help open it in honor of his wife, Grace Anne. The Koppel family hopes to open a similar center in rural areas each year until they have opened a center in each state. This legacy will encourage individuals who are suffering to keep fighting and succeed in managing the illness.
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Treatments
The center offers two phases of rehabilitation, phase 2 and 3.
Phase 2 services are for patients under the medical management of a physician.
- Pulmonary Phase 2 patients have moderate to severe COPD or another significant pulmonary disease.
- Cardiac Phase 2 patients have typically just had a heart attack or cardiac surgery within the past six months to a year. Phase 2 includes an individualized assessment and care plan, and participants attend three sessions per week for about 12 weeks. A physician's order is required before participating in the Phase 2 program. Most insurances and Medicare cover phase 2 services.
Phase 3 services are for patients who have completed Phase 2, have mild COPD, or who had a heart attack or cardiac surgery more than a year ago. The center offers education sessions for program participants focused on lifestyle modifications and disease management. Phase 3 involves an intake assessment and the development of an individualized exercise program for patients two days a week. Individuals may participate in Phase 3 services once a medical clearance to exercise is obtained from their doctor. This service is an individualized maintenance program and is not typically covered by insurance. The center also participates in a Better Breathers Club every other month in connection with the American Lung Association.
The MedFit program at MedStar St. Mary's is a combination of movement and education designed around participants' individual medical needs. Directed by the Grade Anne Dorney Center team consisting of nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, registered respiratory therapists, and health educators, all participants are given a complete medical history assessment and physical fitness evaluation prior to enrolling. The program includes a personalized plan incorporating cardiovascular exercise, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility exercises while monitoring participants blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, and oxygen saturation.
- Location: MedStar St. Mary's Grace Anne Dorney Center.
- Hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays, 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Mondays/Wednesdays, 2:30 - 5 p.m.
- Cost: $30 per month or $75 for 3 months
- Contact: 240-434-7143
Walking Program for Peripheral Artery Disease
If you have Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a structured walking program can make a big difference, enabling you to double or triple the distance you can walk before developing symptoms or before having to stop.
Regular walking to the point of developing moderate pain, then resting briefly and repeating the process, will improve your ability to walk more than any other known exercise and most other medical and surgical treatments.