Medical expertise, education, physical exercise and phycosocial adjustment are four important aspects of the special Cardiac Rehabilitation Program made possible by the joint efforts of Heywood Hospital and Mount Wachusett Community College's Fitness Center, in association with the Heywood Medical Staff.
The program is part of Heywood Hospital's wellness program, and promotes better health for people who have experienced serious heart problems. The following patients are potential candidates for the Cardiac Rehab Program:
- a patient who has had a heart attack
- a patient who has undergone bypass surgery or other heart related procedures; Angioplasty, Atherectomy, stent implant
- a patient who has had angina pectoris
- a heart patient who is medically considered high risk
- a heart patient who has had a heart valve replacement/repair
- a heart patient who has had a heart or heart/lung transplant
If you can identify yourself in one of these descriptions, most likely your physician will refer you to our program.
How the Program Works:
Cardiac Rehabilitation training is provided by healthcare professionals in three approaches.
- Risk factor education to understand the habits and lifestyle changes required for a healthy heart.
- A progressive exercise program for achieving cardiovascular fitness.
- A psychological support group to promote compliance to lifestyle changes.
The training begins once a patient has been referred to the program by his/her physician. Physician referral is required as the rehabilitation program provides you with an individually designed program that is approved by your physician.
After you've been referred
Your role in making a healthier lifestyle begins when your physician refers you to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Your physician will provide our health-care professionals with necessary information about your medical history upon your enrollment in cardiac rehabilitation training. The program is completed in steps, and successful completion of one step means you move on to the next step.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Components
This approach is completed while the participant is either a patient at Heywood Hospital or after discharge. The patient learns more about heart disease and how lifestyle changes can promote a healthier lifestyle. Risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress, diabetes, obesity and sedentary lifestyle are addressed. The participant will be involved in a risk factor/lifestyle modification program that will help change existing behaviors and attitudes that contribute to cardiovascular disease.
Progressive Exercise Training
A stress test will be performed near or at the onset of your exercise program. This test identifies a Target Heart Rate, enabling you to perform a safe and effective exercise program. Exercise will be done in a variety of modalities including treadmills, stationary bike, an arm ergometer, a recumbent stepper and bike, and free weights for strength training.
This support group approach allows the participant to talk about their illness and difficulties adjusting to lifestyle changes. Lifestyle adjustments involve the patient and family members. Participation in a support group is an opportunity for participants to express feelings and hear how others with the same illness are adjusting to their situation.
The Cardiac Rehabilatation Professionals
A team of health-care professionals support the cardiac rehabilitation participants. Members of the Heywood Medical Staff serve as consultants to the program, and they direct the overall progress of each participant. A physician directs all exercise sessions. An exercise physiologist, who specializes in cardiac rehabilitation, and a registered nurse are always on site during the exercise and education portions of the program. Other professionals who contribute to the program are dietitians, counselors, and pharmacists.
The first two steps of Heywood Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program are covered under most health insurance plans. Should you elect to join Step Three, the maintenance program, you would be required to pay a reasonable fee. If you have any questions concerning your insurance policy coverage for outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, please feel free to contact the program manager at Heywood Hospital, (978) 630-6261, during regular business hours. We also recommend you contact your health insurance carrier directly, or speak with Heywood Hospital's financial counselor.
Should you like to learn more about this special cardiac rehabilitation program, please write or call the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Manager at Heywood Hospital, (978) 630-6261, during regular business hours. The address is 242 Green Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.