What is pulmonary rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a multi-disciplinary program incorporating exercise, community education and support sessions for any qualifying person with lung disease. We see individuals with chronic lung conditions such as COPD, emphysema, bronchiectasis, pulmonary fibrosis, asthma, neuromuscular disease and much more.

What are the benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation?
Pulmonary rehabilitation can help patients achieve:

  • Decreased shortness of breath
  • Increased exercise tolerance and strength
  • Improved ability to handle daily living tasks
  • Better understanding of medication use and breathing techniques
  • Better weight management
  • Increased stamina and energy levels
  • Increased independence and quality of life
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Overall improved sense of well being

Who is qualified for pulmonary rehabilitation?
Your physician will need to review your pulmonary function test to see if you will qualify for pulmonary rehabilitation.

Who will I be working with during my rehabilitation sessions?
Participants have a multi-disciplinary support team including a medical director, registered respiratory therapist, exercise physiologist, registered nurse and a registered dietitian. Our team is eager to work with you toward your individualized goals to ensure you get the care and education you need.

How long is the program?
Most insurances cover 36 sessions of pulmonary rehabilitation. We are currently meeting three days a week, for an hour to an hour and a half. During this time, you will be performing cardiovascular and strength training exercises. You will also be learning different topics such as anatomy and physiology of the cardiopulmonary system, explanation and proper use of respiratory medications, nutrition, breathing techniques, stress reduction and panic control techniques, and much more.

How do I get started?
A referral from your provider and a current pulmonary function test (PFT) given within the last year are required to participate in the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program. Ask your provider if you feel you would qualify, or call our program coordinator at (360) 299-4242 for assistance with the referral process or request for a PFT.


Sarah Edwards, RRT, CPFT, MPH is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) who has been practicing since 2010. She got her start as a new RT here at Island Hospital where she was trained in emergency care, intensive care and acute care. Edwards then moved to Jacksonville, FL where she was instrumental in reopening a pulmonary rehabilitation center that had been closed for two years. Edwards recently finished her Master’s degree in Public Health at the City University of New York and worked in the Pulmonary Function Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center prior to returning to Island Hospital in 2021.

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Published on July 21, 2021