Great River Pulmonology diagnoses and treats diseases affecting the lungs and chest. This includes:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Lung cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Sarcoidosis of the lungs


Alvin Dandan, M.D. Valerie V. Denz, M.D.  

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes swelling in your airways. You may have one or more of these symptoms:
  • Chest tightness – Feeling like something is squeezing or sitting on your chest
  • Coughing – A cough that lingers and often worsens at night or early morning
  • Shortness of breath – Feeling like you are breathless or can’t catch your breath
  • Wheezing – A whistling sound heard when breathing in or out

Some days you may not have symptoms, but this doesn’t mean your asthma has gone away. Asthma is a disease that cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.

Most patients come to Great River Pulmonology by referral from their primary-care providers. But it is possible to become a patient without a physician referral. Please call the clinic at 319-768-3240. Staff will ask you for information about your health history. A provider will review the information, and you will receive a return call.

What is COPD?

Smoking is the most-common cause of COPD in the U.S. According to the American Lung Association, smoking causes 80 to 90 percent of cases. Other causes are exposure to air pollution, secondhand smoke, and occupational dust or chemicals. When you breathe, air travels through tubes in your lungs – airways – to millions of tiny air sacs. Air moves easily in and out of healthy lungs. COPD makes it hard to get air through airways, and in and out of the air sacs.
COPD consists of two lung problems:
  • Chronic bronchitis – Inflamed airways increased cough and mucus production for an extended period
  • Emphysema – Air sacs don’t work properly because they are damaged or the smallest breathing tubes in the lungs collapse.

Coughing that may produce mucus, shortness of breath and fatigue are symptoms. They get worse as the disease progresses.

If you have symptoms of COPD, talk to your health care provider right away so you can begin managing the disease. Making lifestyle adjustments, such as quitting smoking, is a good place to start.

Becoming a patient

When you are referred to Great River Pulmonology, your primary-care provider should send copies of your pertinent medical history and reports of all laboratory tests for one full year before your appointment. If you were not referred, please ask your primary-care provider’s office to send this information to Great River Pulmonology.

  • Insurance card so our staff can photocopy it and file documents with your insurance company
  • List of medicines you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, supplements and cold remedies. Be sure to update your medicine list every time there is a change, and bring a copy to each appointment.
  • Photo ID

During your appointment, your provider will review your medical history and laboratory results with you. Following your first appointment, your care may involve laboratory and other diagnostic tests to assess your pulmonary condition.

Office hours and telephone number

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday


Mercy Plaza, Suite 254
1225 S. Gear Ave.
West Burlington, IA 52655