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 reclaim the richness of an active life.
The Cardiac Rehab Program
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 offers classes for cardiac patients, as well as those with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and those looking to reduce their risk for these diseases.
The Pulmonary Rehab Program
was started in 2010 for patients with pulmonary conditions.
The Oncology Rehab Program
at AVH was started in 2015 for patients undergoing treatment and side effects of cancer therapy.
The Brain Fit Program
at AVH was started in 2017 for patients struggling with dementia, Alzheimer's or a traumatic brain injury. BRAIN FIT IS CURRENTLY ON HOLD UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Our cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
We offer services in two convenient locations: at Aspen Valley Hospital and at After-Hours Medical Care (234 Cody Lane in Basalt). The Aspen location boasts state-of-the-art equipment in a newly constructed lovely 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 2:30 p.m. in Aspen and between 3 and 6 p.m. in Basalt to accommodate the varied schedules of our patients.
All therapists are trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and a physician is onsite at all times should an emergency arise.
MS, Exercise Physiologist, Manager
, MS, CSCS, Exercise Physiologist
, MS, CEP, Exercise Physiologist
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.
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.
The Cardiopulmonary Rehab department works closely with our staff Cardiologists Gordon Gerson, MD, and Joseph L. Schuller, MD, FHRS.
For patients with newly diagnosed cardiac disease, a cardiology consult may be the first step to better health.