Providence’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Receives National Honor

October 31, 2011

PORTLAND, Ore. — Studies show one of the best ways to keep from having a second heart attack is to hit the treadmill after the first. A strong cardiac rehabilitation program can make a lifesaving difference.

The Providence Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center is making that difference for hundreds of heart patients every year, and now the program has been honored with certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Certification recognizes the Providence program as a national leader in the field of cardiovascular rehabilitation because it offers the most advanced practices available.

“Our goal is to help patients gain strength, knowledge, and improved quality and length of life,” explained Suzanne Hall, M.D., Providence Heart and Vascular Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation medical director. “We know rehabilitation builds confidence and improves outcomes – and that makes all the difference for a person who has suffered from a significant cardiac event.”

Providence Cardiac Rehabilitation Program has served nearly 450 patients since it opened in August 2009. The men and women are recovering from a variety of heart events – open-heart surgery, heart attack, stent placement, stable angina – and commit to hour-long sessions three times a week, for 36 weeks.

Registered nurses and exercise specialists monitor the patients as they go through exercise routines to build endurance and develop workout habits. In addition, staff members provide education and coaching to help participants develop healthier lifestyle habits. The rehabilitation team also works closely with cardiologists to help track each patient’s progress.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs must be in existence for at least a year to apply for national certification, as sufficient patient data is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the service. Providence received a three-year certification.