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Black Lung Program
Ballad Health’s Norton Community Hospital in Norton, Va., has been caring for our coal miners for generations.
Norton Community Hospital’s Black Lung Clinic offers the region’s only program approved and federally certified by the U.S. Department of Labor for the Black Lung Program. This clinic offers disease screening/ diagnostic testing and pulmonary rehabilitation services.
Black Lung Disease
Black lung disease, or coal worker's pneumoconiosis, is a lung disease that results from breathing in dust from coal, graphite, or man-made carbon over a long period of time.
Your risk of getting it depends on how long you have been around coal dust. Most people with this disease are older than 50. Smoking does not increase your risk of developing this disease, but it may have an additional harmful effect on the lungs. If coal worker's pneumoconiosis occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, it is called Caplan syndrome.
Coal worker's pneumoconiosis occurs in two forms: simple and complicated (also called progressive massive fibrosis or PMF). Coughing and shortness of breath are symptoms of the disease.
If you have been exposed to coal dust and have these symptoms, Norton Community Hospital's federally approved Black Lung Program provides services that include:
- Federally-approved diagnostic testing at Norton Community Hospital
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
- Pulmonary function testing
- Durable medical equipment (such as oxygen)
- Prescription medications
- Sleep disorder testing
- Clinical education
- Home health/hospice
- Follow-up care at the outpatient pulmonary clinic as needed
Our Workers' Compensation program was designed specifically to meet the requirements of the Department of Labor but can provide medical care for any miner with black lung disease.
Miners awarded disability benefits through the Federal Black Lung Program will have a "miner's card" or a U.S. Department of Labor card.
Black Lung Program Referral
To refer someone to the Black Lung Program:
- Call outpatient services 24/7 referral hotline at (855) 673-3376
- Answer a few simple questions and we will follow up with provider and patient directly
- Call 276-439-1365 for U.S. Department of Labor exams