Mercy Medical Center brings awareness to Cardiac Rehab Week

Cardiac Rehab week brings awareness to heart health

Heart health is a key focus during the month of February, and a big part of recovery for any heart condition is cardio rehabilitation.

From February 12th through the 18th, the medical community celebrates Cardiac Rehab Week, a week to promote heart health through exercise and rehabilitation.

Mercy Medical Center's Cardiac Rehab program has been in place for thirty years, and cardiologists see the benefit of this program in that time frame.

"We know that by being involved in the rehab program patients are 58% less likely to die from a cardiac related illness if they've been in the practice here for over a year," says Dr. Jerome Pierson, cardiologist with Mercy Medical Center. "We know they're about 31% less likely to be readmitted with cardiac related issues."

This six week program teaches patients about cardiovascular workouts as a form of rehabilitation, and the workouts are specifically tailored to fit each person's needs and abilities.

"We have trained nurses and rehab people who will actually go through with the patients when they first come in, assess their physical situation, then work out a program that helps them," says Pierson. "Some people have arthritis in their legs, so they can't really exercise on the bike or the treadmill, so then we work on the upper body strength with the aerodynamic bikes just using their arms."

Doctors recommend patients be active from a cardiac standpoint all the time.

Dr. Pierson mentions that while this program only lasts six weeks, his patients continue to return, even after their treatment is finished.

"It becomes social," says Pierson. "A lot of these people become friends because they work with the same group of people for years and years and years, and they support each other throughout the illnesses."

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