http://www.record-journal.com/articles/2004/04/18/news/news11.txt Cheshire doctor honored for his pulmonary expertise By Sloan Brewster, Record-Journal staff CHESHIRE — A little exercise goes a long way to help control asthma. Dr. John J. Votto believes education and exercise go hand-in-hand with treating pulmonary disorders such as asthma. But he also advises patients to take extra care when deciding to run outdoors in the cold in New England. "Running in the cold is one of the best inducers of asthma attacks," Votto said. "The faster you breathe cold air, the more you're going to induce asthma." So he suggests getting on a treadmill or catching an aerobic class, or even better, going for a swim. Swimming is the best exercise for someone who suffers from asthma, the doctor said. Because breathing warm moist air is helpful. The American Lung Association of Connecticut recognized Votto, a Tudor Drive resident, with the Connecticut Thoracic Society Award Friday at the association's Centennial Ball at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. The annual recognition, which does not include a monetary award, goes to a physician who is dedicated to the field of pulmonary medicine and has given substantial service to the lung association, said Margaret LaCroix, lung association vice president of communications. Among the credentials that led to Votto being chosen is a program he devised for weaning patients off ventilators for the Hospital of Special Care in New Britain, where he is CEO and chief of staff. "He has made his hospital, like, one of the best in pulmonary care," LaCroix said. The program relies on a team approach, Votto said, with nutritionists, psychologists and pulmonary specialists working together to ease the transition from a patient's dependency on the machine for breathing to doing so independently. The team works closely together to convince patients they will be able to take those breaths on their own, Votto said. Patients especially need emotional support. "You have to do a lot of hand holding to get people off ventilators," the doctor said. Votto graduated from Kansas City College in 1978. He is a DO, doctor of osteopathic medicine, not an MD. Though the two are recognized as equal by the medical profession, training and philosophy are slightly different, Votto said. "Osteopathic medicine pushes a more holistic and more primary-care approach," the doctor said. Osteopathic doctors learn a more hands-on approach using techniques such as manipulating the spines of patients suffering from back pain, rather than prescribing muscle relaxants. The method is similar to those used by physical therapists and chiropractors, Votto said. Though he is a hospital administrator, Votto still manages to spend time one on one with patients. He also teachers pulmonary medicine at the Newington VA Hospital. He has the time to do these things, which he said he enjoys, because he shares the CEO position at the Hospital for Special Care with David Crandall. The two split their administrative responsibilities. "We knew if we did it together, we would be able to do what we liked to do," Votto said, adding that the team effort has worked out well. Votto has worked at the New Britain hospital since 1992. He made the transition to CEO and chief of staff in 1997.