Pulmonary Care

People affected by chronic pulmonary disease know how hard it can be to perform their everyday activities. Just climbing the stairs, making the bed, working in the yard, or participating in family activities can leave you struggling to breathe and feeling helpless. New Hanover Regional Medical Center offers support through the Janice H. Brown Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.  

Helping Patients with Lung Conditions

New Hanover Regional Medical Center's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is designed to improve the quality of life for patients suffering with chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, or other debilitating lung diseases. Services are designed to help with:

  • Self-management of lung disease
  • Improvement of strength and endurance
  • Building self confidence
  • Developing knowledge 


Janice H. Brown Pulmonary Rehabilitation is located in the NHRMC Heart Center - Outpatient Services building at 1415 Physicians Drive in Wilmington. The building features a rehabilitation area on the third floor with a large gym and walking track for exercise. Monitoring is done by experienced therapists and clinicians who offer support and counseling throughout the program.

Pulmonary Program Structure

The Pulmonary Program offers multiple sessions a day, five days a week. Participants usually come for a minimum of one hour, two to three days a week for up to ten weeks.  Patients may continue in the program on a self-pay basis in order to maintain their health.


  • Lung anatomy and lung disease
  • Breathing retraining and inspiratory muscle training
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Medications
  • Activities of daily living
  • Signs and symptoms of infection
  • Stress management
  • Panic control
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Nutrition
  • Travel with oxygen 

Supervised Exercise

An individualized exercise prescription is written for you following exercise testing, which may include pulmonary function testing, cardiopulmonary exercise testing or a six-minute walk. The exercise prescription provides guidelines including target heart rate, MET levels and intensity of exercise on specified equipment. Our goal is for you to complete 50 minutes of aerobic exercise along with strength training. We'll increase your activity as your tolerance grows.

Psychosocial Support

Your ability to successfully adapt to the enormous challenges associated with chronic lung disease is a major determinant of your quality of life. To help, we offer classes on anxiety, depression and stress. You can also meet with a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist. Interacting with a group and sharing support can help you accept and adjust to lung disease. We can also refer you to additional counseling if needed.

Medication Management

Adhering to your medication plan is important to your success. Our registered nurse will meet with you to review all your medications so you understand what medications you should take, how often you should take them, and the consequences of not following your plan.

Nutritional Counseling

Forty to sixty percent of patients with COPD have problems maintaining proper nutrition. Many are underweight due to the increased caloric needs caused by difficult breathing, while others are overweight due to steroids and sedentary lifestyle. A nutrition class is offered to participants. If you need further evaluation and counseling, you can see our nutritionist or be referred to other providers in the community.

Positive Attitude to Succeed

If you are like many patients who come to us for help, you may be feeling depressed, angry and anxious from the stress of every day life with lung disease. We'll help you find the resources and support you need to face the challenges and succeed. 

How to Participate

NHRMC's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program is open to outpatients by physician referral. Prior to starting the program, you will need an initial assessment including a medical history, physical examination, laboratory testing, and pulmonary function studies. You will also need to have a cardiopulmonary exercise stress test performed with a pulmonologist in attendance. Tests done within the past six months may not need to be repeated. 

For more information, call 910-343-2543.

About Janice H. Brown

The Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at NHRMC is named for Janice H. Brown, a strong advocate for patients with pulmonary illness. Through her personal experience as a patient she recognized the needs of others and gave generously to the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundation to help build the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program.