Kremmling rehabilitation center helps heart patients recover close to home |

Kremmling rehabilitation center helps heart patients recover close to home

Eric Murray " Voice of Your Hospital

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is for people recovering from heart or lung illness who want to get back to doing the activities they used to enjoy. Some may want to get to the point where they can exercise safely while others may want to build confidence slowly with a custom-designed program.

This is where the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program, also referred to as The Healthy Heart Center, comes in. The Healthy Heart Center at Kremmling Memorial Hospital features a cardiac rehab program for people who have heart conditions resulting from heart attack, cardiac surgery, angioplasty, congestive heart failure and other conditions affecting the heart. Pulmonary programs are designed for those with lung disease.

In a positive atmosphere that’s bright, friendly and caring, patients are brought to an increased level of wellness through a personal program that includes two major parts: exercise training and education.

The exercise training helps the patient learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your muscles and improve your stamina. The exercise plan is based on individual ability, needs and interests.

The education portion will helps patients to understand their heart condition and find ways to reduce risk of future heart problems. The Healthy Heart Center offers individual teaching and education material related to cardiovascular disease. The topics include: dietary goals, understanding fat and cholesterol, dining out/cooking/grocery shopping, the cardiac disease process, risk factors and causes of atherosclerosis, managing stress, smoking cessation, recovery through exercise, sex and the heart patient, cardiac medications and dealing with depression. Plus each client’s family is welcome to visit and participate in the teaching process.

I have had several interviews with these people partaking in this program and they all spoke of how helpful it was to have this service in the county. One patient recently said, “I am pleased I could do my cardiac rehabilitation so close to home,” she said adding, “I wonder how long I would have been able to stick to it if I had to go to Denver.”

One patient told me in a matter-of-fact tone, “It’s not always, ‘no pain, no gain’ but I’m glad I was able to develop my strength with the same people working with me week after week.”

The cardiac rehab team helps patients learn how to cope with the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle and to deal with fears about the future. “This is much more than just going to your gym and working out,” stated David Solawetz, R.N./Cardiopulmonary Program Coordinator. “It is a comprehensive, medically supervised and directed plan.”

Cardiac rehabilitation is covered by Medicare. Insurance companies typically cover cardiac rehabilitation in accordance with policy and limitations.

The Healthy Heart Team consists of a registered nurse and an exercise specialist. Both have extensive experience in the rehabilitation of heart patients. A nutritionist is also part of the team, providing valuable nutritional information. This team is directed by John Wisneski, MD.

To get started a person needs to tell their doctor or nurse that they are interested in cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation. If the doctor refers the patient to the Healthy Heart Center the program is initiated and the patient is evaluated and set on a course for a healthier life.