MILLEN, GA ( WJBF) – Inside the Jenkins County Medical Center, a new pulmonary rehab center is helping patients with respiratory, or lung conditions improve their breathing.

“By having this exercise equipment here we’re having them not only increase their stamina but increase their strength and their overall breathing,” Keith Baker said.

Keith Baker, the rehab’s director said there’s an increased need for the rehab as more patients deal with post-COVID respiratory symptoms.

“The other centers around are seeing a lot of post-COVID patients,” Baker said.

It also increases access to health care for patients living in Millen and other nearby rural areas.

“Just being able to have access so that they can get in here the amount of time that they need to get in. By decreasing that drive time that’s made a huge difference for a lot of these patients,” Baker said.

People who live in the area say having the rehab center in the hospital keeps patients close to medical care without having to drive several miles.

“That’s going to save a lot of people gas money and a lot of people time. That way they don’t have to call off their job when they’re right here in Millen. Sometimes people are even walking distance to the hospital so they may even walk to the hospital to come to something like this if they really need it,” Lorente Jackson said.

Enrollment is now open to patients.