Heart Month Profile: The Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program
by Marcello Bernardo
Recovering from a heart attack or other event related to cardiovascular disease can be difficult and sometimes frightening. Often, a patient won’t know where to start. The doctor may provide some tips about diet and exercise, but the patient can quickly become overwhelmed with information.
That’s why Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre developed the Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program (or Cardiac Rehab). This unique program helps those recovering from and living with cardiovascular disease to get the guided exercise, education, and counselling they need. The program is designed to help people lead a more independent and healthy lifestyle. Participants will learn more about their risk factors and how to reduce them with strategies for living an active, healthy, and smoke-free life.
The Cardiac Rehab team is made up of administrative staff, Registered Nurses, Registered Kinesiologists, a Registered Dietician, a Social Worker and a physician. This team of experts works diligently to provide thorough care to those attending and help them on their road to recovery.
Nearly 450 participants were enrolled in Cardiac Rehab each year before the COVID-19 pandemic brought on major changes to the program. The Cardiac Rehab team adapted quickly to the challenges created by the pandemic and used this opportunity to develop an excellent virtual program to bring education, care and exercise programs to patients in their own homes and communities. Since implementing this last year, the Cardiac Rehab team has successfully helped 693 participants in their recovery journey.
Thank you to the Cardiac Rehab team for helping us recognize Heart Month and for working tirelessly to provide care for our community and region.