Cardiac Rehab Program Changes Lives, Helps Hearts Heal

Vol. 15, No. 1
Summer 2005

  • New Ambulatory Surgery Center Matches Convenience with Peace-of-Mind

  • Immunotherapy Spells Relief for Severe Allergy Sufferers

  • War on Tumors Escalates

  • High-Dose Radiation Battles Gynecological Cancers without Hospitalization

  • 'Diga Si'

  • Critical Transfer & Team Care Save a Young Mother's Life

  • Winthrop Welcomes New Twigs Leadership

  • Cardiac Rehab Program Changes Lives, Helps Hearts Heal

  • Hundreds Play a Round to Support Institute for Family Care

  • Two Options Enable Osteoporosis Patients to Stand Straighter without Excruciating Pain

  • Quality of Life Stepped Up after Two Knee Replacements

  • Most Advanced MRI Creates Superior Visualizations of Bone & Soft Tissue

  • A Night at the Opera ~ Big Voices for Precious Children

  • It's never too soon to say ThankYou!

  • Once again, Winthrop ranked one of America's best hospitals

  • Mom Shares Courageous Story with TLC Viewers

  • Congresswoman McCarthy Recognizes Winthrop's Achievement, Tours Facilities

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  • Mary Anne Stecher, RN, BC, a certified cardiac rehabilitation nurse and the program's coordinator, evaluates Mr. Evans' progress during his exercise session. Two years ago his cholestrol level was more than 700; today it's around 140.
    Two years ago, the most exercise Bob Evans got was walking to the dinner table. He can joke about it now, but then, it was no laughing matter. His cholesterol was more than 700 and he was on the verge of a heart attack.

    "Thank God for Winthrop," he said. "The Hospital is without a doubt a leader in heart care. They turned my life around."

    A retired high school administrator, the 56-year-old led a very sedentary life until he received a wake-up call: "My wife went in to see the doctor because she wasn't feeling well, but I walked out hearing that I was at a high risk for a heart attack, and in need of an angiogram," he explained. A week later, he underwent sextuple cardiac bypass surgery at Winthrop.

    He then enrolled in the Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, a 12-week plan consisting of three, one-hour, supervised exercise sessions per week. The first week was tough, but a multi-disciplinary staff of sed exercise sessions per week. The first week was tough, but a multi-disciplinary staff of cardiologists, exercise physiologists, cardiac nurses, dietitians and behavior specialists monitored his progress while providing crucial emotional support. By week six, Mr. Evans felt the improvement. "It was so addicting," he added. "I have nothing but accolades for this program and the personal care I received."

    Today, his cholesterol is down to a little over 140, and he beams when he says he just finished a run.

    Participants also are encouraged to attend weekly educational sessions. "The lectures are informative and beneficial because you are able to talk about sensitive issues with others, who are in the same boat, without feeling embarrassed," explained Mr. Evans. "It truly is a family atmosphere."

    Program graduates, like Mr. Evans, are encouraged to keep up their progress by continuing non-monitored exercise twice a week to maintain physical stamina.

    "Scientific evidence demonstrates that a cardiac rehabilitation program retards the progression of cardiac artery diiiiisease, improves a patient's cholesterol profile, and helps reduce symptoms, disability and mortality, as well as the need for further cardiac interventions," explained Joseph Gardella, MD, Ph.D, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

    "Most importantly, cardiac rehab can reduce the incidence of subsequent heart attacks," added Mary Anne Stecher, RN, BC, a certified cardiac rehabilitation nurse and the program's coordinator. "It can improve exercise tolerance, quality of life, and promote a sense of well-being."

    For Mr. Evans, it saved his life.

    For more information about the program, call (516) 663-2599

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