Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is a program which involves monitored exercise therapy and education, conducted by trained clinical exercise physiologists under the direction of board-certified pediatric cardiologists. The program is eligible for insurance coverage.

The goal of the exercise therapy program is to implement and encourage a safe and effective exercise program to enhance overall cardiovascular health and quality of life, while developing healthy lifestyle routines for long-term compliance.

Who Qualifies for Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?

Cardiology patients referred by their cardiologist, who may have one of the following diagnoses:

  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Post heart transplant
  • Single ventricle physiology/Fontan conversion
  • Chest pain or Angina
  • Valve Surgery
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Other heart conditions with physician referral 

Benefits of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

  • Improved cardiovascular health and function
  • Decreased symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain
  • Increased muscular strength and endurance
  • Improved weight management
  • Increased knowledge of heart-healthy behaviors
  • Improved nutrition
  • Improved knowledge of cardiac medications and compliance
  • Improved ability to complete activities of daily living
  • Decreased hospital admissions

Tiers of the Program

A patient's journey through the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program consists of three separate tiers. 

Tier I

This is an inpatient monitored exercise therapy program. This type of therapy is initiated by the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) service team when appropriate.

  • Patients engage in monitored exercise therapy sessions three times per week
  • Exercise sessions are tailored per patient and are completed in the CCU or at the bedside

Tier II 

This is an outpatient monitored exercise therapy and lifestyle education program. Participation requires an order from your cardiologist and approval from your insurance provider.

  • Participants attend sessions 2-3 times per week, for a total of 36 sessions
  • Patients receive continuous ECG monitoring and vital sign assessments throughout exercise sessions
  • Exercise sessions are tailored per patient to meet their individual needs and goals

Tier III

Patients who participate in Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Tier II will continue on to a home exercise therapy program designed by one of our clinical exercise physiologists. Patients will follow-up with a clinical exercise physiologist from our Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation staff on a routine basis for exercise modification and program safety.

  • Participants will attend sessions once per month
  • Exercise sessions are self-monitored to encourage and promote program independence and compliance
  • A clinical exercise physiologist will continue to monitor cardiovascular status and provide education and support

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

An exercise physiologist is a clinical professional who has earned a master’s or bachelor’s degree in the field of exercise physiology. The clinical exercise physiologist works under the supervision of a physician to implement exercise programming and behavioral interventions, which have been scientifically proven to have functional and therapeutic benefits for specific patient populations.

Most clinical exercise physiologists hold professional certification from a nationally accredited professional organization, such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Appointments

Appointments are available Monday-Friday. To learn more about scheduling an appointment, contact Melissa McMahon, M.S, ACSM-EP-C, Lead Exercise Physiologist, at 312.227.0366.

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