Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program | Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine | Department of Internal Medicine | UC Davis Health


Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Pulmonary rehabilitation at UC Davis Health is an AACVPR-accredited program that empowers patients with lung conditions through education, exercise, motivation and support to help improve their quality of life. The multidisciplinary team of specialists provides a wide range of care to individuals and their families. The outpatient program includes a comprehensive evaluation, monitored and supervised exercise, education, psychosocial support and nutritional guidance.

Pulmonary rehabilitation helps participants

  • Experience less difficulty with breathing
  • Increase muscle strength and endurance
  • Improve their abilities to handle daily activities
  • Understand how to use medications and oxygen appropriately
  • Improve quality of life
  • Reduce hospitalizations
  • Decrease depression and anxiety
Watch Videovideo iconDr. Aimee Kizzar, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Coordinator
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Singing Therapy - UC Davis Health

Candidates for pulmonary rehabilitation

Anyone with a chronic pulmonary disease or condition that affects his/her functional status and quality of life is a candidate for pulmonary rehabilitation, including patients with:

  • COPD (emphysema and/or chronic bronchitis),
    including alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Persistent asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis, ages 13 and older
  • Bronchiolitis obliterans
  • Interstitial lung diseases such as interstitial pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Occupational and environmental lung diseases
  • Pulmonary hypertension, WHO groups 1 to 5
  • Chest wall disease such as kyphoscoliosis or ankylosing spondylitis
  • Neuromuscular diseases such as post-polio syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), diaphragmatic dysfunction or multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Lung cancer or lung cancer surgery
  • Lung volume reduction surgery
  • Before and after lung transplant
  • Obesity-related respiratory disease

Program details

UC Davis Health offers an eight-week formal program. Those who complete the formal program may join our maintenance program.

About the formal program

This is an 8-week outpatient program that meets two times per week for 1 ½ hours per session and once a week for education on Fridays 11:00-12:30 PM via Zoom.

The eight-week program meets three times a week on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Individuals can choose either a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday class from a 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. class time. Each class consists of exercise and education. The exercise component consists of warm up, flexibility, upper/lower body strengthening, balance and endurance training.

We are currently offering virtual pulmonary rehab for eligible patients that meet criteria and per CMS Public Health Emergency (PHE) waiver. Complex patients are better served in a multidisciplinary, center-based PR program.

Education topics

  • How the lungs work
  • Breathing retraining and airway clearance
  • Medications
  • Conserving energy
  • Preventing lung infections
  • Sleep hygiene
  • Benefits of exercise
  • Understanding pulmonary function and six-minute walk tests
  • Nutrition
  • Emotional health and well being
  • Oxygen and travel
  • Meditation, tai chi and yoga for chronic lung disease
  • Advance directive and physician order for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) forms

Getting started in the formal program

You will need the following:

  • Diagnosis of a chronic lung disease
  • Physician referral
  • Pulmonary function test (post bronchodilator for COPD stages 2-4)
  • Six-minute walk test
  • Insurance authorization (or you may pay out-of-pocket)
  • Insurance coverage information*

*Please note that pulmonary rehabilitation is covered by most medical insurance plans, however some plans require authorization prior to treatment. We encourage you to check with your insurance provider before calling our team.

About the maintenance program

This program is for individuals who have completed a formal pulmonary rehabilitation program. The maintenance program is offered at four different times:

  • 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A monthly donation of $35 is appreciated.

Support groups

Open to everyone in pulmonary rehabilitation.

The following support groups are currently on hold until further notice.

  • Catch My Breath support group 
  • Meditation/Chair Yoga
  • Rockin’ Rehab singing for your health

Our Team

Kimberly Hardin, M.D.
Medical Director

Tracy Seward, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Nurse Practice Manager

Aimee Kizziar, MHAL, BA, RRT-NPS, CES
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Supervisor

Veronica Encarnacion, BS, RRT-ACCS, RCP
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Coordinator

Mallorie Mullendore, BS, RRT, RCP
Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program Coordinator

Clinic Location
  • J Street Clinics

    J Street Clinic

    2825 J St., Suite 400
    Sacramento, CA 95816

    Phone: 916-321-5611
    Fax number: 916-703-7970
    Office Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM

    All outside referrals must be faxed directly to our Referral Center at the number listed below:

    UC Davis Physician Referral Center
    Phone: 800-482-3284
    Fax: 916-703-6048