A pulmonologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating disorders related to the lungs and respiratory system such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, emphysema and complicated chest infections.


Dr. Mella graduated with a degree in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. He earned his medical degree from Wayne State University Medical School in Detroit, Michigan and went onto complete an internship and a residency in internal medicine from Wayne State University Medical Center. He completed a fellowship in pulmonary disease from Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. He is a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Dr. Mella has a special interest in asthma, sleep disorders, lung diseases, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). As the Director of Sleep Medicine, Dr. Mella works closely with the OMC Sleep Lab. The lab, which performs studies on people of all ages, is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It is located in Parkway Center in a new, completely renovated, state-of-the-art facility with four private rooms for sleep studies.


Pulmonary Rehabilitation


OMC's Pulmonary Rehabilitation program is designed to help patients with breathing problems control their symptoms and improve their day-to-day activities through exercise training and behavioral and educational programs. The Pulmonary Rehabilitation team includes physicians, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians, social workers, mental health care providers and exercise specialists.

The goals of OMC's Pulmonary Rehabilitation program are to help patients:
•  reduce and control breathing difficulties and other symptoms
learn more about their disease, treatment options and coping strategies
learn to manage their disease and reduce dependence on health professionals and costly medical resources
maintain healthy behaviors such as smoking cessation, good nutrition and exercise

The program consists of 30 education/exercise sessions for up to 10 weeks. Participants meet three days a week for the first six weeks. These sessions include 30 minutes of group education and 90 minutes of supervised exercise. During the last four weeks, participants meet for 90 minutes of supervised exercise three days a week.

Individual educational consultations are available for patients who may need extra assistance with health problems. These include:

•  smoking cessation programs for those who still smoke
an exercise specialist for patients who want to develop a personal exercise program
physical therapy for patients suffering from musculoskeletal problems
nutritional evaluations
respiratory therapy consults on medications, inhalers or treatments
psychological help for personal mental health issues

For more information about how OMC's Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program can help people suffering from chronic lung conditions learn to get more enjoyment out of life, call the OMC Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at 417-257-5959.

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