Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Gets People Back to Life

“She smiled and there it was again, that aching pressure in his chest. Was it love or a heart attack? Kind of the same thing.” Those sentiments were written in Kristan Higgins bestseller Somebody to Love, but as anyone who has ever had a heart attack or suffers from coronary artery disease knows they are not the same thing. When it is not coming from love, most people want the pressure in their chests to go away forever. They want to get back to doing the things they enjoy. Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) can help.

“Cardiac rehabilitation helps people live again. It is an essential part of the healing process both physically and emotionally,” said Stephen A. Bowser, M.D., who specializes in cardiology at Monongahela Valley Hospital.

Monongahela Valley Hospital offers cardiac rehabilitation services at the Mon-Vale HealthPLEX. The medically supervised program for people recovering from cardiac surgery, a heart attack or stable angina includes monitored exercise, behavior modification and education.

Cardiac rehab has many benefits. It can:

  • Reduce a person’s overall risk of dying, the risk of future heart problems and the risk of dying from a heart attack
  • Decrease pain and the need for medicines to treat heart or chest pain
  • Lessen the likelihood that a person will need to return to the hospital or emergency room for a heart problem
  • Improve a person’s health by reducing his or her risk factors for heart problems
  • Improve a person’s quality of life and make it easier for him or her to work, take part in social activities and exercise

Going to cardiac rehab regularly also can reduce stress, improve a person’s ability to move around and help people stay independent.

For more information about cardiac rehabilitation, contact MVH’s Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation at 724-379-1920.

February is American Heart Month. On Thursday, Feb. 28, from 4 to 8 p.m., Monongahela Valley Hospital is participating in “Go Red Washington County,” a new county-wide initiative to increase heart education and awareness among adults. Speakers are KDKA-TV’s Jennifer Antkowiak, who will discuss heart health and conduct Zumba and walking demonstrations, and holistic health counselor and cookbook author Janet McKee, HHC, AADP, who will cook several healthy recipes and share them with the audience. At 6 p.m., an Innovations in Medicine panel discussion will focus on heart health issues with panelists including MVH Cardiologist Simon H. Chough, M.D.; Center for Fitness and Health Director Don Doyle; Cardiac Rehabilitation Supervisor Kenny Furlong, RN; and Senior Staff Physical Therapist and Director of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease Randall Komacko, MPT.
Screenings, information tables, raffles and sales of “Go Red Washington County” red gloves and headbands will continue until 8 p.m.

The event and parking at MVH are free, but reservations are requested by calling 724-258-1333.


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