Published on November 19, 2020

Ozarks Healthcare reminds Community of Respiratory Care and Smoking Cessation Assistance during American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout

Held on the third Thursday each November, The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout event is a great reminder of the importance of healthy lung and respiratory function. Many smokers wanting to take an important step toward a healthier lifestyle and reduce cancer risk use this event to mark the beginning of their journey to quit smoking.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 32.4 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths. More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.

Ozarks Healthcare has several resources available to those who may be facing disease and damaging effects from smoking or need assistance quitting the habit altogether. Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonology services, cancer screenings, and smoking cessation program can help provide a pathway to healing for those suffering from respiratory diseases and disorders.

About Ozarks Healthcare’s Pulmonology Services

Ozarks Healthcare’s Heart and Lung Center treats all diseases associated with the lungs and the respiratory system. Rapid diagnostic evaluations and advanced bronchoscopy provide patients with modern therapeutic options. Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonology team works closely with patients’ primary care providers to assist with smoking cessation, as well as the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. Ozarks Healthcare pulmonologists Dr. Biplab Saha and Dr. Praveen B. Datar are experts in diseases often associated with smoking, including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, lung cancer, interstitial lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, pleural effusion, pulmonary hypertension, and more.

“At Ozarks Healthcare Heart and Lung Center, we understand the toll respiratory conditions caused by smoking and certain diseases can take on patients’ lives.” Dr. Saha said. “We’re here to help with the latest treatments tailored to individuals’ unique situations.”

To determine best treatment methods for patients, the Ozarks Healthcare pulmonology team uses an in-depth process to precisely identify patients’ conditions.

“When a patient is seen, we start by finding the source of his or her condition using a variety of diagnostic tools,” Dr. Datar said. “Physical examination, imaging studies, bronchoscopies, ultrasounds, and pulmonary function tests can help us develop a plan of treatment targeted to patients’ particular needs.”

Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonology services also include a pulmonary rehabilitation program, which is designed to help patients overcome difficult respiratory symptoms and improve day-to-day activities through exercise training and behavioral and educational programs. Physicians, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians, social workers, mental health care providers, and exercise specialists all compose Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonary rehabilitation program team.

About Ozark Healthcare’s Lung Cancer Screenings 

Ozark Healthcare’s Cancer Treatment Center offers lung cancer screenings with the latest imaging technologies. For eligible individuals, annual screenings are covered by Medicare and private insurance. Current and former smokers age 55 to 77 who have smoked within the past 15 years or have a history of smoking at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or more should consider getting screened. Both private insurers and Medicare offer coverage for annual screenings for lung cancer among high-risk individuals who meet all the eligibility criteria.

“We take our role of helping individuals identify lung cancer through our screening program seriously,” Alexandra Malisheski, Director of Ozarks Healthcare Oncology Services, said. “Through using advanced technology and screening methods, we can help with early detection and treatment in hopes of providing patients with a better quality of life in the future.”

Ozarks Healthcare’s lung screening team includes radiologists, pulmonologists, a cardiothoracic surgeon, and oncologists. Ozarks Healthcare performs screenings with the latest imaging technologies, such as low dose computed tomography (CT) scans. A complete range of services for people at risk for lung cancer, including smoking cessation support and modern lung cancer treatments, are also offered.

About Ozarks Healthcare’s Smoking Cessation Program  

In cooperation with the American Lung Association (ALA) and Pfizer Grant Program, Ozarks Healthcare offers smoking cessation assistance to individuals in Howell County and surrounding communities free of charge. The program is led by ALA certified instructors and consists of eight classes that occur over a seven-week period. Instructors use proven psychological interventions and pharmacological nicotine replacement methods customized to best fit individuals’ needs.

“Our smoking cessation program helps individuals understand the addiction process, evaluate their best avenue for becoming nicotine free, and offers support as they create a plan for quitting and remaining addiction-free,” Ruth Nabors, Ozarks Healthcare Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Smoking Cessation Coordinator, said. “Every smoker’s path is different and requires an individualized plan that accommodates their personal environment and physical needs. Cessation can sometimes require multiple attempts, which is why we follow our participants for a full year to provide ongoing support to help participants remain in a nicotine-free state.”

For more information about how Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonary rehabilitation program, lung cancer screenings, and smoking cessation program can help smokers end their nicotine addiction or find relief from chronic lung conditions, call the Ozarks Healthcare Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at 417-257-5959.

Ozarks Healthcare is a system of care encompassing eight primary care and 17 specialty clinics, along with complete rehabilitation, behavioral healthcare, and home health services. While the 114-bed acute care hospital cares for more than 5,400 admissions, the entire health system has more than 364,000 patient visits annually in South Central Missouri and Northern Arkansas. For more information about Ozarks Healthcare, visit

OZH Pulmonologists

Dr. Praveen B. Datar (left) and Dr. Biplab Saha (right), Ozarks Healthcare Heart and Lung Center 

Visit News & Media to get the latest from Ozarks Healthcare.

Media Contact

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ozarks Healthcare Media Team
Phone: 417-257-6735