GRMC offers comprehensive care for a full range of respiratory conditions and diseases.
The Department is staffed by 2 full time Pulmonologists. They are supported by a team of respiratory therapists, backed by advanced diagnostic tools.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez specializes in the treatment of pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis and emphysema. He is a member of the American Thoracic Society and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine with a sub-specialty in Pulmonary Diseases.
Dr. Michael Agustin has a special interest in diffuse lung diseases, COPD, lung cancer, asthma and lung infections. He completed a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship at the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Boston, a Tufts University teaching hospital. He is board certified in Internal Medicine with a Pulmonary subspecialty.
Dr. Gonzalez and Dr. Agustin are experienced in evaluating and treating a variety of lung diseases using a range of tests and procedures using the sophisticated diagnostic tools available at GRMC.
Respiratory Manager Anthony Cruz and his team of therapists are essential members of the team. They operate the Pulmonary Function Test Lab which is equipped with an advanced diagnostic tool known as a whole body Plethysmography Box, commonly called a “body box”. Anthony’s team also manages the critical care support for patients on ventilators.
Among the conditions treated:
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Pneumonia and other Pulmonary infection
• Interstitial lung disease
• Chronic Cough and work-related respiratory issues
Among the diagnostic tests and treatments available:
Pulmonary Function Testing – This involves 3 separate tests used to evaluate lung health. They are a Spirometry Test, a Lung Volume Test and a Single Breath Diffusion Test. These tests measure how well the lungs take-in and exhale air, as well as how effective oxygen is transferred to the rest of the body.
Bronchoscopy – A procedure during which a physician examines the upper and lower airways by looking through a fiber-optic camera called a bronchoscope. The bronchoscope is also used to perform biopsies, therapeutic aspirations and to retrieve foreign bodies lodged in an airway.
Bronchoalveolar Lavage – In this procedure, sterile water is flushed through the distal airway using a bronchoscope. The flushed fluid is then examined for the presence of infectious microorganisms or abnormal cells.
Endobronchial or Transbronchial Biopsy – using a bronchoscope, small pieces of tissue can be removed from a lung for examination. Lymph nodes surrounding the airway can also be aspirated with the use of a small needle. These procedures help in diagnosing lung mass and aid in the evaluation of the stages of lung cancer.
Thoracostomy or Chest Tube Placement – During a Thoracentesis a thin plastic tube is inserted into the space between the lungs and the chest wall in order to collect fluid outside the lungs which is then examined for disease. The tube can also be used to insert medication to decrease the likelihood of fluid accumulation. This procedure is known as pleurodesis.
6 Minute Walk Test (6MWT) – This test measures a patient’s capacity for exercise by monitoring their blood pressure and oxygenation while they pace on a treadmill for 6 minutes.
Lung Cancer Screening and Smoking Cessation – Low dose CT scans are available to check for lung cancer. Smoking cessation programs are available through our Patient Education Department.