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Catholic Health to cut part of pulmonary rehab program

Posted: 5:30 PM, Dec 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-02 17:30:21-05

For 35-year-old John Lauer of Buffalo, everyday tasks like making dinner can be exhausting. He suffers from something called pulmonary arterial hypertension--a medical condition that impacts lung and heart function.

"I have it. My sister had it, and my mom has it," Lauer said.

A doctor prescribed Lauer with medication and pulmonary rehabilitation. He participates at a Catholic Health facility on Two-Mile-Creek Road in Tonawanda.Lauer is a phase three patient. It's the part of the program that offers medically supervised exercise.

Lauer said it's had a positive impact on his health and endurance.

Catholic Health is choosing to eliminate phase three at the end of the month. Lauer is one of 25 patients who will now need to find rehab elsewhere.

In a statement, Catholic Health said the cut comes "an effort to focus its resources on medically prescribed services that are not offered elsewhere in the community." It also said patients will be encouraged to continue rehab at a medically oriented gym on Sheridan Drive. According to Catholic Health, it offers the same services for similar costs.