Contact: Karen Gainey, Marketing Coordinator
Phone: 910-291-7550 FAX: 910-291-7996

March 16, 2010

Two participants in Scotland Memorial Hospital's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program have reached the major milestone of 1,000 visits. Barbara Andress and retired physician Ben Tatum recently joined Johnny Teeters, the only other patient to reach this high point in the rehab program.


Dr. Ben Tatum entered Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation in 2000, Mrs. Andress in 2001. They both completed a twelve-week supervised exercise and education program, with weekly classes on nutrition and stress management, cardiovascular education, and risk factor reduction. This initial phase of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation provides blood cholesterol and body composition analyses, monitoring and counseling for various emotional and personality risk factors, and instruction in diet, relaxation techniques and stress management.

The Maintenance phase of Cardiopulmonary Rehab begins following the initial 12-week program. "When I started in 2000, I never thought I would be in the program this long," Dr. Tatum offered. "However, it's my belief that attending rehab sessions has strengthened me and helped to prevent another heart incident. I'm probably just as healthy now as I was ten years ago. That's why I have stayed with the program."

Exercising just makes you feel better!
"I have trouble walking due to back problems and have had several back surgeries," added Dr. Tatum. "However, consistent exercise helps me walk better, plus it improves my balance and posture. Missing even just a few sessions causes me to experience increased pain from arthritis. I wish they would be open five days a week so I could come more often."

As a physician, Dr. Tatum felt he had both an advantage and disadvantage going into the program. "I knew the program would be beneficial for me, but any little pain I experience, no matter how fleeting, causes me just a little anxiety. Sometimes I think a little knowledge is dangerous."

An Excellent Staff is the Backbone of the Program
Dr. Tatum added that the Cardiopulmonary Rehab staff is the backbone of the program. "In addition to supervised exercise, the staff checks my oxygen and pulse every visit and my blood pressure at least once a month or as I request it. When you have to pay for a program such as this, you tend to take better advantage of being there. It gives all of us participants a great sense of security to know the staff is there to help if we do have a problem while exercising. Staying active is good for a person in every way possible so I plan to stay with the program as long as I can. The $48 we pay each month is a great bargain."

With ten grandchildren, Dr. Tatum is often busy watching them play baseball, football and basketball. "My grandchildren do keep me busy. I am so thankful that my rehab sessions enable me to be able to be with them, watch them in their games, and enjoy them." He's delighted that he can work his Cardiopulmonary Rehab sessions around his schedule in order to spend time with them.

Pulmonary Rehab Week March 14-20th
Barbara Andress reached her 1,000 visit milestone just as the Rehab staff celebrates Pulmonary Rehab Week March 14 through the 20th.

In 2001, while receiving treatment at Scotland Memorial Hospital for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Barbara was encouraged by respiratory therapist Jill Brown to start the rehab program as soon as she could after discharge from the hospital. "She convinced me it would help me get my strength back and be able to breathe easier. She was right. Even though I'm on oxygen at nighttime, I can take care of myself, I can drive myself to rehab and pretty much everywhere I want to go."

Following the COPD diagnosis in 2001, Barbara's husband, Bill, literally led her into her first session holding her oxygen tank in one hand and her hand in the other. "He told me I was going to get better," Barbara stated. "And, I have. My husband Bill was very supportive of me attending rehab." Unfortunately, Barbara lost her husband last June to a massive heart attack and misses him each day.

Rehab Allows Independent Living
Barbara now lives at Prestwick Village, where she also finds very caring people. "Thankfully, I'm able to get around and even help some of the other residents if needed," she commented. "I have two sons who are very protective of me, and two grandsons and one granddaughter. So I have a lot to live for and want to remain healthy. I'm so thankful that God left me here to be with them and that Cardiopulmonary Rehab has helped me to be healthy enough to enjoy life."

Rehabilitation Builds Bodies and Friendships
Making friends in the program is an added benefit. "I have my family, but this is my family away from home," commented Barbara. "Many of us have been coming and exercising together for a long time so I now have many friends in the rehab program."

Barbara added her compliments of the staff to Dr. Tatum's. "They are so wonderful. You couldn't ask for a nicer group of people. We've seen a few staff changes over the years but the quality of the care has not changed one bit. When you see people three times a week, they become a part of your life. We also always enjoy it when Peggy Smith comes back to work. Even though she's retired, she comes back to help with the program on a part-time basis."

Agreeing with Dr. Tatum, Barbara said, "It is so worth it to continue to come three times every week. Coming here for the past nine years has kept both my body agile and my mind sharp and kept my COPD from advancing. I've been taught how to exercise and to take better care of myself. My advice to others with COPD is to get into the program and stick with it. You can't go anywhere that's as beneficial as this for $48 a month. No question about it, I am so much stronger for the time I've come. It's kept me physically fit."

Both Barbara and Dr. Tatum are patients of Dr. Frank Ball, who has seen the positive effect it has on them and encourages them to continue with the program. "He's all for me staying in the program and says it's kept me going," added Barbara.

The Cardiopulmonary Rehab team consists of Christine Robinson, RN, program coordinator; Angelita Locklear, RN & RRT; Jessica Currie, Exercise Physiologist; Jamie Clark, Office Assistant. For additional information about the program, call 910-291-7409.

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