Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

What is Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?
Surviving a heart attack or any other cardiovascular or pulmonary event doesn't end with the trip home from the hospital.  A program for rebuilding cardiovascular and pulmonary function is crucial for complete recovery.  This is the reason for Aspen Valley Hospital's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program.  It helps people who have cardiovascular or pulmonary disease to reclaim the richess of an active life.

History
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation was started at AVH in the fall of 1995 under the direction of cardiologist Morris Cohen, MD, and Melody Durham, RN.  After an initial focus on acute cardiac patients (following stent or surgery), it quickly expanded to meet the needs of the community.  The department now offers classes for both cardiac and pulmonary patients, as well as those with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and those looking to reduce their risk for these diseases.

In accordance with recent research (The China Study and Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease), the department endorses a whole food, plant-based diet.  We participate in the nationwide "Meatless Monday" initiative.

Certifications
Both our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

Facilities

We offer services in two convenient locations:  at Aspen Valley Hospital and at After-Hours Medical Care at 234 Cody Lane in Basalt.  The Aspen location boasts state-of-the-art equipment in a newly constructed 4,000 square foot department.  With a full complement of fitness and weight-training machines, continuous telemetry monitoring capabilities, and oxygen therapy, we have everything needed to optimize your cardiovascular health.  We offer classes between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. to accommodate the varied schedules of our patients.

Staff
All therapists are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and a physician is on site at all times should an emergency arise. 

Melody Durham, RN, BSN, Director
Julie Puchkoff, MS, CSCS, Exercise Physiologist
Karen Johnson, MS, HFS, CES, Exercise Physiologist
M.M. O'Gara, RN, CDE

CARDIAC REHABILITATION
Phase I Cardiac Rehabilitation

This phase occurs during hospitalization following a cardiac event such as a heart attack, angina, heart surgery, or stent placement. Following a physician’s referral, Cardiopulmonary Rehab staff provide an introduction to the rehab program and limited education to the patient while hospitalized. This is covered by insurance as an inpatient service.

Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation
This phase requires a physician prescription and is typically covered by insurance for up to 36 sessions at three days per week. Diagnoses which are typically covered by insurance include coronary bypass surgery, stent, heart attack, stable angina, congestive heart failure, heart/lung transplant, and valve replacement/repair. Other diagnoses such as coronary dissection or aortic aneurysm may also be covered. It is an outpatient service that offers comprehensive education and supervised, monitored exercise for cardiac patients immediately following hospitalization. Monitoring includes telemetry, BP, weight, and any cardiac symptoms. Education focuses on risk reduction through life-long maintenance of exercise and a heart-healthy lifestyle. Teaching is individualized to patient need and includes: medications, understanding heart disease, risk factors, home exercise, heart-healthy diet, stress, and smoking cessation (if necessary). A registered dietitian participates in this phase of the program.

Phase III Cardiac Rehabilitation
This important final phase involves maintaining an exercise program with us in Aspen or Basalt, at home, or at a health club. It is the patient's choice. Insurance does not cover the Phase III program, and those patients who continue to exercise at AVH or in our Basalt facility purchase a "punch card" at a very affordable price. Classes continue to be offered three days per week for patients in this phase. Patients no longer need the cardiac monitor and blood pressures are taken weekly.

Psychosocial Needs
Aspen Valley Hospital has a Licensed Clinical Social Worker on staff to assist patients with psychosocial needs.  While exercise is an important aspect of cardiac health, it is equally important to live a full, relaxed, and balanced life.  With this in mind, our goals for you include promoting lifestyle changes, dealing with depression and anxiety, resolving conflict, improving communication, and strengthening interpersonal relationships.

The Cardiopulmonary Rehab department works closely with our staff Cardiologists Gordon Gerson, MD, and Paul Becker, MD. For patients with newly diagnosed cardiac disease, a cardiology consult may be the first step to better health.
PULMONARY REHABILITATION
The initial introduction to our program typically follows an acute exacerbation of a pulmonary condition such as bronchitis, emphysema, COPD, chronic obstructive asthma, pulmonary hypertension, or fibrotic disease. The attending physician, along with a Cardiopulmonary Rehab staff member, will determine a patient’s likelihood to benefit from our Pulmonary Rehab program. The primary goals of Pulmonary Rehabilitation are to help patients control symptoms, improve their activities of daily living, and restore their ability to function independently. Our team of respiratory therapists, registered nurses, dietitians, and exercise physiologists will provide the patient with optimal care and guidance in learning how to live with their disease and improve their quality of life.

Phase II Pulmonary Rehabilitation
This phase requires a physician prescription and a pulmonary function test (PFTs) within three months. Based on the results of the PFTs, it may be covered by insurance up to 36 sessions at three days per week. It is an outpatient service that offers comprehensive education and supervised, monitored exercise for pulmonary patients. We monitor oxygen saturation and heart rate and provide portable oxygen. Education is individualized to patient need and includes: coping techniques, anatomy and physiology, breathing techniques, exercise, medications, supplemental oxygen, preventing infection, triggers, diet and nutrition, and traveling with oxygen. A registered dietitian participates in this program. Covered diagnoses include: asthma, asthmatic bronchitis, chronic obstructive bronchitis, bronchiectasis, COPD (emphysema and bronchitis), pulmonary fibrosis, and others based on pulmonary function tests.

Phase III Pulmonary Rehabilitation
This important final phase involves maintaining an exercise program with us in Aspen or Basalt, at home, or at a health club. It is the patient's choice. Insurance does not cover the Phase III program, and those patients who continue to exercise at AVH or in our Basalt facility purchase a "punch card" at a very affordable price. Classes continue to be offered three days per week for patients in this phase. Oxygen saturation and heart rate are monitored by the patient, while blood pressure is taken weekly.

The Cardiopulmonary Rehab department works closely with physicians at National Jewish Hospital through our monthly Pulmonology Clinic. For patients with newly diagnosed pulmonary disease or worsening of symptoms, a consultation may be the first step to better health.

If interested in any of our programs, call 970-544-1383.

Useful Links
 

0401 Castle Creek Road
Aspen, CO 81611
970.925.1120

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