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Cardiac Rehab Week is February 13-19. Anyone who has dealt with a heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty and stenting knows that with recovery also comes stress, and part of that stress revolves around the uncertainty of when, or if, you can get back to normal living. The good news is Logan Health – Shelby’s Cardiac Rehab program is here to help patients recover from a cardiovascular event and make the lifestyle changes needed to prevent future events.  Logan Health – Shelby’s Cardiac Rehab program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This certification is recognition of Logan Health – Shelby’s commitment to improving the quality of life of patients by enhancing standards of care.

“If you’ve experienced a cardiovascular event, you can rest assured that the Logan Health-Shelby Cardiac Rehabilitation team will get you back on your feet and help you stay well,” said Bridget Blevins, Cardiopulmonary Services Director.  “Linda Ryan, our Registered Nurse and Cardiac Rehab Specialist, does an amazing job working to help patients develop a realistic plan for identifying and improving their heart disease risk factors, as well as allowing patients to participate in nutrition and stress management sessions.”

In addition to Linda, the rehab team at Logan Health – Shelby (LHS) includes a medical director, physician, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, dietician and pharmacist. “We are thankful to have Kristen Russell, pharmacist and Director of Pharmacy at LHS, as a part of our Cardiac Rehab team,” said Blevins. “This allows for a thorough pharmacy medication review for each of our cardiac rehab patients to ensure that they are getting the right medications specific to the individual.”

Patients typically spend two to 12 weeks in cardiac rehabilitation. This can vary depending on the patient’s goals, progress or the physician’s recommendation. LHS offers Phase II class times on Monday through Thursday, with various times available to fit your schedule. A doctor’s referral is required to enter the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Anyone who has been diagnosed with cardiac problems within the last year and wants to make a change in the way they eat and live are encouraged to participate. The program features monitored physical activity, which gradually increases the efficiency of the heart and lungs, and strengthens the body’s muscles, allowing the patient to gain the confidence to return to daily life.

“At Logan Health – Shelby, we provide a lot of education to help people start a healthy lifestyle,” added Linda Ryan. “I really enjoy meeting and working with the patients that come into our cardiac rehab program.  I have worked in a lot of different areas of nursing and working with our cardiac rehab patients is one of the most rewarding because I get to see and be a part of the improvements patients make and what they accomplish here.”

“The Cardiac Rehab program is a lifesaver – literally! Linda and her staff are pros at what they do, that is for sure,” said Gordon Smedsrud, a Shelby resident who recently completed LHS’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program. “They were a constant source of encouragement and definitely went above and beyond to make sure I had every chance for a full recovery, which I had. You just can’t do this by yourself,” said Gordon. “The crystal heart gift I received for completing the program truly means a lot.”

There are many benefits to participating in cardiac rehab. Strengthening and conditioning of your heart and lungs, controlling weight and improving cholesterol levels, understanding your medications, knowing the signs and symptoms of heart disease, increasing self-confidence, laying the groundwork for the development of a healthier lifestyle, reducing symptoms and the chances of another cardiac event, and providing emotional support for patients and their families are just a few of the benefits.

The maintenance program offered by LHS is available to cardiac rehab graduates who wish to continue with their exercise in the physical therapy department as well, giving patients another opportunity to continue on the road to improved health.

“At Logan Health – Shelby, our cardiac rehab patients have a higher completion rate, lower post-rehab blood pressures, and higher patient satisfaction scores compared to the state and nationwide program averages,” concluded Blevins. “We are proud of our staff and all of our patients for the work they do.”

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from cardiac rehab, talk to your doctor and ask for a referral. You can also contact the Rehabilitation Department for any questions or help with a referral by calling (406) 434-3249.