Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)

Promoting Pulmonary Rehabilitation

July 2000
Second Wind
Lomita, California

  Dear Friends:

  Our original work in pulmonary rehabilitation began in 1966. We received funding from the Chronic Respiratory Disease Control Program, to develop a demonstration project about pulmonary rehabilitation, (PR). At that time, we were just starting our studies with ambulatory oxygen. We had learned the value of breathing training, pursed lip breathing, physical conditioning, and coping with advanced stages of COPD from some of the original pioneers, which include the late Alvan Barach of New York, Albert Haas of New York, and William F. Miller of Texas. Our first scientific report about our PR program was published in 1969.

  From that point onward, we have been enthusiastic proponents of the value of PR, emphasizing pragmatic outpatient programs. In the mid-1990's we made two video tapes called, Essentials of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. One was for the healthcare professional and the other was for patients. Both tapes showed illustrations of PR programs in the Denver area and at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance, California, then led by Mary Burns. These two tapes have had extensive distribution throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and South America.

  Recently, I was in Dublin, Ireland, to visit a former Fellow. I was delighted to see his PR program at St. Michael's Hospital. The nurses, Marian and Mary-Frances, had used our tapes as their model, as they set up their program. I thrilled to see a program in action near the place where my paternal grandparents were born.

  These tapes are still available*. They will be particularly valuable for healthcare workers who are just initiating new programs in PR, or who just wish to compare their approach with what we have portrayed.

  It seems like only yesterday that we were just getting started in PR. Now it has become the standard of care. Keep active, and live healthy.

  I will be in touch next month.

  Your friend,

  Thomas Petty, MD

* My office will send these tapes on request. Please send a check made out to Thomas Petty for $15.00 to cover costs.

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Published: Jan 31 2002