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Cardiac Rehabilitation


Download a Cardiac Rehabilitation Brochure

  • Hours - 7:30 am - 1:00 pm
  • Staff - Nurses, Respiratory Therapists, Dieticians, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist

The GMC Cardiac Rehabilitation Program established in 1991 is a medically supervised program to help heart patients recover quickly and improve their overall physical and mental functioning. The goal of the program is to reduce the risk of another cardiac event or to keep an already present heart condition from getting worse.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs include:

  • Counseling so the patient can understand and manage the disease process
  • Beginning an exercise program
  • Helping the patient modify risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes. Evidence suggests that diet, exercise, stress management and drug therapy benefits patients.
  • Quitting smoking significantly reduces the risks of another heart attack, sudden death, stroke and total mortality compared with those who continue to smoke.
  • Providing vocational guidance to enable the patient to return to work
  • Supplying information on physical limitations
  • Lending emotional support

When oversee by a medical provider, cardiac rehabilitation is helpful to patients with congestive heart failure, angina pectoris (chest pain due to clogged heart arteries), recent heart attack, coronary stenting, coronary artery bypass surgery or PTCA (balloon angioplasty) or who have had a heart or heart/lung valve transplant, valve replacement or valve repair. It also applies to patients with congenital cardiovascular disease, who may or may not have had surgery. An exercise program is normally included, but rehabilitation usually is tailored to each patient's needs. Exercise may be very structured, including ECG monitoring, or less structured, with infrequent monitoring. It depends upon the patient's specific heart problem and other health problems. Combining all aspects of cardiovascular rehabilitation in appropriate patients improves functional capacity and quality of life, reduces risk factors and may create a sense of well-being and optimism about the future.

The medical provider refers patients who have had a heart attack, heart surgery or have chest pain (angina) to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. The program monitors patient recovery for three to four months up to a 36-session program. Specially trained professionals lead sessions: registered nurse, respiratory therapist, dietician, pharmacist, physical therapy/occupational therapy and social services.

The patient is assisted in meeting the following objective:

  • Training the heart and other key organs to their best level of function
  • Developing self-confidence and a sense of well being to enhance the quality of life
  • Lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Developing new or larger blood vessels to supply nutrients to the heart
  • Providing support for the family during the recovery period

GMC's Cardiac Rehab program is two phased:

Phase II consists of carefully monitored outpatient exercise. A personalized plan of education and exercise is planned and implemented. After completing Phase II of the program, the patient receives a GMC Cardiac Rehab logo T-shirt, certificate, and recognition at a graduation ceremony. Most medical insurance programs and Medicare cover the cardiac rehab program at GMC.

Phase III involves a maintenance exercise program that is supervised only. Participants work independently, monitoring and charting their own progress.

Enhanced quality of life for the cardiac patient is the primary mission of a successful cardiac rehabilitation program. We achieve this through safe, appropriate exercise, education, risk factor management and social interaction.

GMC Cardiac Rehab staff also provide heart health education for local employers, as an employee education presentation. Presentations are designed to provide education, to assist employees in making good preventative health decisions as they relate to taking charge of their heart health. If you would like to request additional information on the GMC Cardiac Rehab program please call, 406-345-3309.

Helpful Links www.americanheart.org