May 20, 2019

At MedStar, Putting the Spotlight on Heart Health

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown recently put the spotlight on heart health.

The hospital observed Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, which coincided with Valentine’s Day and February’s American Heart Month.

Cardiac rehabilitation can reduce the potentially devastating effects of heart disease and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. During the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation’s National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital Grace Anne Dorney Pulmonary and Cardiac Rehabilitation Center wanted patients who suffer a cardiac event to know there is help available.

“Cardiac rehabilitation can help reduce the potentially devastating effects of heart disease,” said Pam Laigle, MSN, RN, PCCN, of MedStar St. Mary’s GADC. “Programs such as ours can greatly improve the quality of life for patients and their families.”

The theme this year was “Making Positive Changes, One Beat at a Time.” It honored the patients, families, and health care professionals who are dedicated to cardiac rehabilitation as a vehicle for a healthy lifestyle.

A recent report by the American Heart Association shows that nearly half of all adults in the US have some form of heart disease. The report is based on data from the National Institutes of Health and other government sources. This year’s report said 121.5 million adults in the US – 48 percent based on 2016 figures – have cardiovascular disease. Heart disease was the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.

“Returning to activity following a heart attack can be scary to many,” Ms. Laigle said. “Programs such as those offered at the Grace Anne Dorney Center not only help patients live longer and lessen chances for another heart attack, they also improve confidence and strength and help get patients back to their usual activities.”

In addition to cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, GADC also offers a MedFit program. Directed by the center’s team of nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, registered respiratory therapists, and health educators, participants are given a complete medical history assessment and physical fitness evaluation prior to enrolling. The program includes a personalized plan incorporating cardiovascular exercise, muscular strength, and endurance, and flexibility exercises while monitoring participants blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose levels, and oxygen saturation.

If you or someone you know has had a cardiac event or has a cardiac history and would like to begin an exercise program in a medically monitored gym, contact the Grace Anne Dorney Center at 240-434-7143. The GAD center is certified through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

For more information and one-click access to a full list of resources available at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, visit their Leader member page.

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