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Tulane debuts pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation center

September 09, 2016 6:00 PM
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Tulane Health System president Dr. William Lunn, Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, Ted Koppel and dean of the Tulane University School of Medicine Dr. L. Lee Hamm III attend the grand opening of the Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Tulane Medical Center’s downtown campus. (Photo by Sally Asher)

 

The Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at Tulane Medical Center was celebrated with a grand opening ceremony Thursday (Sept. 8) at the downtown campus.

“This place is remarkable,” said Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, president of the Dorney-Koppel Foundation, as she and her husband, senior CBS Sunday Morning contributor Ted Koppel, were greeted with applause as they entered the ceremony.

Funded by the Dorney-Koppel Foundation, the center will be the first pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation clinic at Tulane Medical Center since Hurricane Katrina devastated Greater New Orleans 11 years ago.   

“If you can teach (COPD patients) what their disease is and what they can do with it, it will truly revolutionize healthcare.”

Grace Anne Dorney Koppel

The clinic will provide invaluable support for locals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which affects the lives of approximately 30 million Americans.

Diagnosed with COPD more than 15 years ago, Dorney Koppel has been a longtime advocate for sufferers of chronic breathing conditions.

“My wife was told that she had three to five years left to live and would have 25 percent of her lung capacity. As a result of taking her medicines and daily...activity, she now has 50 percent,” said Koppel. “Many doctors in this country still neither understand nor acknowledge the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation. It’s the only positive step that patients of COPD can turn to; it is the only thing that gives them hope.”

“If you can teach (COPD patients) what their disease is and what they can do with it, it will truly revolutionize healthcare,” said Dorney Koppel.

The facility’s care team — including a respiratory therapist, an exercise physiologist, physicians and nurses — will work together to improve each patient’s quality of life, said Dr. Joseph Lasky, section chief of pulmonary/critical care medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine.

“Nothing could be more enjoyable than seeing this center and knowing that thousands of people, over the course of the next few years, will have their lives changed for the better,” said Koppel.