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Wheeling Hospital’s Cardiac Rehab Program Recertified: Considered “Best of the Best”

July 26, 2019

WHEELING – The recertification of Wheeling Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program confirms what many patients have long known: the program is the “best of the best.”

Following a heart attack, coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty or stent, valve surgery or TAVR, patients at the center are receiving the highest level of cardiac rehabilitation, according to the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

The association recently recertified the hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for meeting its high standards for patient rehabilitation. The association focuses on improving clinical practice and education for cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation professionals and their patients.

“This recertification of our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program demonstrates the commitment we have as a hospital, and a Cardiology Department, to delivering the absolute best care to our patients,” said interventional cardiologist Dr. Triston Smith, medical director of Cardiac Rehab. “We fully recognize that cardiac care is a continuum that extends beyond the acute care setting. Having a cardiac rehabilitation program like ours allows us to ensure that our patients continue to receive quality supervised care as they seek to recover from their acute or chronic cardiovascular conditions.”
For people who have undergone heart surgery or had a heart attack, the recovery is not finished until they undergo cardiac rehab to restore them to their optimal condition.

Rehab care for individuals with coronary artery disease reduces the need for re-admission, enhances the quality of life and raises chance of survival. Cardiac rehab provides supervised exercise training and telemetry monitoring, psychological support and educational classes that focus on risk factor modification.

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are designed to limit the physiological and psychological effects of a diagnosis of cardiac disease; reduce the risk for sudden death or relapse; control cardiac symptoms; stabilize and/or improve the patient’s condition; and enhance the patient’s quality of life.

Christine Wallace, RN, nurse manager of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab, said, “With this certificate, we are considered the ‘best of the best.’ Our cardiac rehab provides the latest programs of cardiac conditioning and education to our patients and their families to help them make appropriate lifestyle changes and progress toward their personal level of optimal physical, psychological, vocational and social well-being. We work with physician-referred patients to return these patients to a more active life.”

Wheeling Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, begun in 1978, is the second oldest such program in West Virginia. Currently, the program serves nearly 400 patients each year. The rehab center is located at the hospital’s Howard Long Wellness Center.

The rehab program team includes nurses, exercise physiologists, dieticians and diabetic educators. An onsite physician is available during the rehab sessions.

For more information on Wheeling Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, call 304-243-3932.

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Contact: Thea Gompers, Director, Marketing/Public Relations 304-243-3705

Members of the Wheeling Hospital Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program team are, from left: Jennifer Rose, respiratory therapist coordinator, Pulmonary Rehab; Jennifer Kutrovac, certified diabetic educator; Megan Hafer, respiratory therapist; Christine Wallace, RN, program nurse manager; Dr. Tristin Smith, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the program; Melissa Michael, exercise physiologist; Rene Copeland, RN, Cardiac Rehab; Cindy Gallentine, exercise physiologist; and Dr. Byron VanPelt, an on-site physician.