Project to determine if COPD patients can do pulmonary rehab at home was focus of 15th Annual Cohen Lecture

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A pilot project to teach people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) how to do pulmonary rehabilitation at home was highlighted at the 15th Annual Allen B. Cohen Memorial Research Lecture on Tuesday, April 20, at the Biomedical Research Center at UTHSCT.

Shown at this year’s event are Geri Cohen, at left, widow of Allen B. Cohen, MD, Ph.D., and UTHSCT Vice President for Research Steven Idell, MD, Ph.D. Dr. Idell was recruited to UTHSCT by Dr. Cohen.

The lecture, "Getting COPD SMART (Self Management Activation Research Trial),” was delivered by David Coultas, MD. He spoke about his COPD research project, which is funded by a five-year, $3.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

This study is designed to determine if teaching people with COPD how to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation in their own home will improve their health and quality of life.

Pulmonary rehabilitation often means coming to a center several days a week for eight to 12 weeks.

Not all medical centers offer these programs, and many COPD patients are 70 years of age or older or live in rural areas a distance from the rehab centers, making it difficult to participate.

Teaching people how to do pulmonary rehabilitation at home removes these barriers, said Dr. Coultas, UTHSCT’s physician-in-chief and vice president for clinical affairs.

About 65 members of the UTHSCT Research Council and their guests attended this year’s lecture, which is held annually to honor the memory of Dr. Cohen.

Dr. Cohen was an internationally respected pulmonary physician and researcher. The former UTHSCT executive associate director and professor of medicine and biochemistry died in February 1995.

He was the catalyst that helped make UT Health Science Center at Tyler a world-class biomedical research facility.

For 60 years, The University of Texas Health Science Center has provided excellent patient care and cutting-edge treatment, specializing in pulmonary disease, cancer, heart disease, primary care, and the disciplines that support them. UTHSCT’s annual operating budget of $125 million represents a major economic impact of over $287 million to the Northeast Texas region. In FY 2009, scientists in the Center for Biomedical Research were awarded 80 competitive grants and contracts totaling $14.6 million. As the academic medical center for Northeast Texas, its graduate medical education program – with residencies in family medicine and occupational medicine – provide doctors for many communities throughout the region and beyond.

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