SVHC Celebrates Second Anniversary of Pulmonary Rehabilitation with Expanded Availability

January 12, 2017

BENNINGTON, VT—January12, 2017—Those interested in improving their lung function will find it easier to join the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. For the program’s 2-year history, patients started and ended their 8-week class together. Starting this month, patients will be able to begin at any time there is an opening, rather than wait for the next session to begin.

“The information and instruction provided in Pulmonary Rehab is truly life changing,” said Caitlyn Boyd, DPT, Pulmonary Rehabilitation program coordinator. “Our goal is to reach more patients in a timely manner and improve patients’ likelihood to start the class and finish it.”

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is covered by most major insurances and is available to patients with a referral from their primary care physician or a pulmonologist. Patients can choose to attend at either 9 – 11 a.m. or 12 – 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The sessions include individually tailored exercise and education led by respiratory and physical therapists. SVMC Pulmonology’s Michael Algus, MD, is the medical director. Enrollment is open now.

In addition, patients attending Pulmonary Rehab and others who struggle with breathing are invited to join a new chapter of the American Lung Association’s Better Breathers Support Club. The group welcomes at no charge those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and other chronic lung disease. Family members, friends, and caregivers are welcome to attend as well.

Certified Better Breathers Facilitators Caitlyn Boyd, DPT, and John Gottung, RRT, will lead the support group. Participants will connect with others experiencing similar challenges, learn how to manage their condition and improve their quality of life, become more active, share experiences, and receive information about community resources. The Better Breathers Club of Bennington will meet from 3 – 4:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month starting on Thursday, January 26, 2017. It will be held at the Toolan Building’s Innovative Learning Center, located across from the main entrance of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

Those interested in attending either Pulmonary Rehabilitation or Better Breathers can contact Caitlyn Boyd, DPT, at 802-447-5140 or

About SVHC:

Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC’s providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. SVHC includes the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care skilled nursing facility; the SVHC Foundation; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), which includes 19 primary and specialty care practices. Primary care offices are located in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, and Wilmington. To learn more, visit

Southwestern Vermont Health Care complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. Language assistance services, free of charge, are available at 1-800-367-9559.