For Immediate Release May 07, 2018

Fernando De Leon, M.D and Philomena Leon, respiratory therapist

Left to right: Philomena Leon, respiratory therapist and Fernando De Leon, M.D

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema, is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. The disease is increasingly common, affecting millions of Americans, and is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The good news is COPD is often preventable and treatable.

A free seminar, “Chronic Lung Disease: What is it and How Do We Treat It?”, will be offered on Wednesday, May 23, 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Conference Center at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. Conducted by Fernando deLeon, MD, pulmonologist, and Philomena Leon, respiratory therapist, the seminar is designed for persons diagnosed with or at risk for chronic lung disease and their family members and/or caregivers. The program is hosted by the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown. After the presentation, the department's facilities will be open for a tour and staff will be available to answer questions. Refreshments will be provided.

According Sherrie Hill, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation clinical coordinator at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States and in Maryland, and six percent of those surveyed in 2011 reported being told by a health care professional that they have COPD. "Smoking is the primary cause of COPD, though there are other risk factors as well as a genetic form of the disease," Hill says.

"This presentation is offered to help people understand that there are things you can do to manage COPD and show them the resources  that are available here in our community to assist them in improving their health, keeping up with their daily activities and maintaining their independence," she explains.

To RSVP for this presentation, contact Hill, 410-810-5666,