Offering Services Locally Helps Patients Improve Their Heart Health
Rehab is an essential part of recovery after a cardiac event, whether it’s surgery or a heart attack. The Cardiac Rehab Program at Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital helps local residents get the treatment they need close to home.
Wild Rose began its Cardiac Rehab Program in 2012 after noticing some patients were having difficulty completing their rehab programs since they needed to leave town for treatment.
“We realized some patients weren’t even going because it was difficult to travel to Berlin or Waupaca for their cardiac rehab programs. We wanted to be able to meet patients’ needs here in the community since going through rehab helps lower the risk of a repeat cardiac event,” said Lorna Miller, cardiac rehab manager and a registered nurse. “Patients are excited to have this local option and it’s great to see them come in here and get the care they need.”
The rehab program is designed for patients who have had heart attacks, angina, coronary artery angioplasty or stents, open heart surgery, heart valve surgery, heart failure or a heart transplant. Patients who are at serious risk for heart disease or have poor exercise tolerance can also be referred to the program by their physician.
There are two phases to outpatient cardiac rehab. All patients start out by coming in for a planning session where they complete a six minute walk test and their medical history is recorded. From there, an individual plan of cardiac workouts is developed. For example, if someone has back problems, the plan will include using the center’s bike instead of a treadmill.
Phase 2 patients come in two to three times a week for 12 to 15 weeks. While they exercise, staff members monitor them closely. Patients also receive information about nutrition and lifestyle changes that can help them have healthier hearts.
“It’s not just about the cardiac exercise, but what other changes the patients can make to make their hearts stronger and help them improve their overall health,” Miller said. “We also teach them to identify any possible warning signs of additional cardiac problems.”
Once patients complete Phase 2, they move on to Phase 3, which means they can come in to the rehab center how often they want to exercise. Patients can stay in Phase 3 as long as they want.
There are currently 16 patients in Phase 2 and 22 patients in Phase 3, Miller said.
“By offering this service locally, we’re helping patients do all that they can to improve their cardiac health and removing any barriers such as traveling to other locations may cause,” she said. “It’s a wonderful resource for the community.”
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca, Community Memorial Hospital in Berlin, and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.