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National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, initiated by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), coincides with both Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month to draw greater national attention to heart health. This year’s theme, “Heartwork and Dedication,” honors the patients, families, and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to giving cardiac rehabilitation patients a new start.

Anyone who has dealt with a heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty and stenting knows that with recovery also comes stress. Part of that stress revolves around the uncertainty of when, or if, you can get back to normal living. The good news is the AACVPR-certified cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program at Logan Health – Shelby (LHS) is available to help patients recover from a cardiovascular event and make the lifestyle changes needed to prevent future events.

“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.  “Our cardiac rehab team 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.”

Cardiac rehab patients typically spend two to twelve weeks in the program. This can vary depending on the patient’s goals, progress, or the physician’s recommendation. LHS offers Phase II class times Monday through Thursday, with various times available to fit patient’s schedules. 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 ask for a referral from their provider.

Shelby Cardiac Rehab TeamIn addition to Bridget Blevins, the rehab team at LHS includes a medical director, physicians, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, dietitians and a pharmacist. “I am so proud to be involved with both the cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs in Shelby, which provide invaluable health and social benefits for our community members,” said Deborah Hoffman, MD, Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Director at Logan Health – Shelby.

Dr. Hoffman explains the benefits the program offers to the community. “First and foremost, these programs help patients improve their endurance through exercise, which overall improves quality of life and functionality.  Secondly, because they’re monitored by healthcare professionals, patients acquire the confidence to do exercises and general life activities safely,” said Hoffman.

In addition to monitored exercise, the rehab team also covers a variety of comprehensive educational topics for both heart and lung health, such as medication review and healthy diet recommendations. “These group programs allow patients the opportunity to interact with others who are experiencing similar health issues, building strong community bonds and overall wellbeing,” added Hoffman.

The maintenance program offered by LHS is available to cardiac rehab graduates who wish to continue with their exercise in the physical therapy department, giving patients another opportunity to continue on the road to improved health.  “At LHS, 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,” said Blevins. “We are proud of our staff and all of our patients for the work they do.”

To raise awareness to heart disease, the LHS Cardiac Rehab team will host their annual heart-healthy popcorn delivery to staff during Cardiac Rehab Week.

If you, or someone you know, would benefit from cardiac rehab, talk to your provider or call Logan Health – Shelby at (406) 434-3200.