Pulmonary Rehab Program Marks Milestone
Date: March 1, 2013
Patients in Howard County General Hospital’s pulmonary rehab program have been breathing easier over the past three decades, thanks to the vision of Bernard Farrell, the hospital’s medical director of pulmonary rehabilitation and pulmonary diagnostics.
Recruited by Howard County General in 1981, Farrell, a native of Ireland, founded a program to improve the quality of life for the growing number of patients at the hospital with chronic lung disease.
In 1983, with help from two staff members, he launched and directed the HCGH Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program—the first of its kind in Maryland and one of the first on the entire East Coast.
Now marking its 30th anniversary, the program boasts a large space, a staff of 10, and 34 exercise machines.
Though pulmonary rehab can’t change lung function, says Farrell, it can improve exercise tolerance and ease activities of daily living.
Farrell’s efforts legitimized pulmonary rehab as the standard of care for chronic lung disease.