Before last week, people in Noble County who experienced a cardiac event had to complete their recovery, cardiac rehabilitation, by driving a distance for that service.
Not anymore with last week’s start-up of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Parkview Noble Hospital.
“There is a great need for cardiac rehab in Noble County,” commented Cynthia Reese, RRT, RPSGT, coordinator of the new service at Parkview Noble. “Last year alone; more than 75 patients from our area went to other Parkview facilities for cardiac rehab.”
Of the initial patients, Jerry DePoy of Kendallville and Tammy Jackson of LaGrange were both excited about the opening of the Parkview Noble cardiac rehab. DePoy was traveling to Fort Wayne for his cardiac rehab, a drive that took him 45 - minutes to an hour, he said, depending on traffic and weather.
“This is just great,” DePoy said. “I really like being able to come here. This is less than 10 minutes from my house. The convenience is great.”
Jackson, an employee at Parkview LaGrange was relieved when the Noble facility opened so she was able to stay within the Parkview system for her care. “I definitely wanted to stay with Parkview,” she explained. Just a couple sessions into her rehab and she’s happy she did. “Cynthia is great. She is very knowledgeable and it is awesome the way she explains everything,” Jackson added.
Reese worked for more than a year receiving on-the-job training at the Parkview Cardiac Rehab facility in Fort Wayne. In addition to her new position in cardiac rehab, Reese is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and a member of the Parkview Noble Hospital Cardiopulmonary team.
Cardiac Rehab is a medically supervised program of monitored exercise that helps heart patients recover quickly. “The goals of cardiac rehab,” Reese explained, “are to stabilize, slow down or reverse cardiac disease as well as to help prevent another cardiac event.”
Patients being referred for this form of rehabilitation may be recovering from a variety of heart issues such as aortic repair, valve replacement, stable angina, myocardial infarction, coronary arterial bypass, and more. A physician’s referral is required, Reese explained, adding that Medicare and most health insurances cover the costs of cardiac rehab.
Cardiac rehab is not a quick process, Reese explained. Patients come to the hospital for one-hour sessions two or three times a week for 12-18 weeks. They will be given information and guidance in a variety of issues concerning managing their heart disease such as improving their eating habits, setting attainable and realistic goals, and modifying their risk factors. They will also exercise in the cardiac rehab room, while connected to EKG monitoring.
The Parkview Noble Cardiac Rehab program is in a room at the hospital that was being used for inpatient physical therapy. The two departments are able to share the space. New equipment that was moved into the room includes treadmills, exercise bikes, and an all-body exerciser.
“The medical staff is very supportive of this program to enhance the care for our cardiac patients right here in Noble County,” said David Hunter, Chief Operating Officer at Parkview Noble Hospital. “The board planning committee identified this as a potential new service and we are very glad to see it become a reality,” he added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death, accounting for 27% of all deaths in the United States. “We know cardiac disease exists,” commented Reese. “Try as we might, we can’t totally eliminate that. But we can be here to help patients recover when cardiac events happen.”