Barnesville Hospital is revamping its cardiac rehabilitation program to better meet the needs of those patients who have recently suffered an acute cardiac event. Cardiac Rehabilitation can improve an individual's quality of life and help prevent future heart events for patients who have had a heart attack, angioplasty, implanted stent, and cardiovascular surgery. However, due to the dramatic increase in demand, only Phase II will be offered in order to meet the needs of acute patients. The Phase II program will expand to five days per week beginning in August. It was previously offered three days per week, which limited the number of patients that could be treated in the program.

The Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is for patients who have suffered an acute incident. These patients once cleared by their physician may begin rehab soon after discharge from the hospital. The patient's physician will determine the best time to enter the program. Once a patient is referred to the program, an individualized exercise program is developed to help build cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength. Throughout the exercise session, the patient's electrocardiogram (EKG), heart rate, oxygen level and blood pressure are monitored. The program also includes education about modifying risk factors for heart disease, medications, and the heart disease process.

"The demand for Phase II of Cardiac Rehabilitation continues to increase. We have been monitoring this need for several months. At any point in time in recent months we have had numerous patients on our waiting list," said David Phillips, CEO, Barnesville Hospital. "In order to accommodate this increased demand for acute cardiac patients we have made the very difficult decision to eliminate our Phase III Program. We feel this is the best utilization of our space and staff, although we are sorry to no longer be able to accommodate those patients who participated in the maintenance program. "

The Phase III of Cardiac Rehabilitation was a maintenance program for cardiac patients who completed the Phase II program. This program consisted of supervised, but unmonitored exercise and helped encourage patients to make exercise a part of their daily lives. Approximately two dozen patients were participating in the Phase III maintenance program.

"We regret having to eliminate the Phase III program as we want all of our patients to exercise for better health", said Cynthia Touvelle, Chief Nursing Officer, Barnesville Hospital. "However, we felt an obligation to those who had just suffered an acute event. We needed to make sure that those most vulnerable received care in the timeliest of manners. We are actively working with Ferrum Fitness, formerly Corner Fitness, as they determine how they may offer a comparable maintenance program which will foster a healthy life style for cardiac patients who have completed Phase II of Cardiac Rehab."

For additional information about Barnesville Hospital's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program call Cynthia Touvelle at 740-425- 5169. For patients in need of Phase II cardiac rehabilitation a referral can be made by a physician or hospital by calling 740-425-5123