Herald Standard
Sunday, May 1, 2016
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Health Focus

Healthy Hearts

Uniontown Hospital and the Uniontown YMCA have partnered to offer people recovering from a cardiovascular event a special program to help them start a healthier lifestyle.

Rebecca Devereaux | Herald-Standard
Rebecca Devereaux | Herald-StandardUniontown Hospital and Uniontown YMCA have partnered to offer a new program to cardiac patients called the Cardiac Rehabilitation Maintenance Program. Uniontown YMCA marketing and wellness director Pam George demonstrates the treadmill that is used for patients who enter into the program.

Uniontown Hospital and the Uniontown YMCA have partnered to offer people recovering from a cardiovascular event a special program to help them start a healthier lifestyle.

“We saw an opportunity to utilize their (Uniontown YMCA) facility to help our patients achieve some things we would not be necessarily able to offer them otherwise,” said Josh Krysak, coordinator of community relations at Uniontown Hospital. “It was an exciting thing for us.”

This new cardiac program will offer Uniontown Hospital heart patients the opportunity to start an exercise regiment with some guidance.

“What would happen is they (patients) would get the prescription from the doctor. They would take that to the Y with them. When they got there they would meet with Pam George or one of the trainers that works with them. They would take them on a walkthrough,” explained Krysak. “They would keep a workout log of what machines they used, how long they used them for and how much they exerted themselves. She (George) would be providing monthly updates to their physicians.”

The new program would serve as a fourth step for those who are recovering from cardiac incidents.

“This process is a maintenance program. This is after they have already been through rehab,” said Pam George, wellness/marketing director, Uniontown YMCA. “It is a three month maintenance program.”

Some of the activities that are included with the program are light weight training, using a treadmill and swimming.

“Our award-winning cardiology team saw a need for a step down maintenance program for our cardiac patients to provide a strong foundation for healthy lifestyle choices,” said Steve Handy, CEO of Uniontown Hospital in a release about the program. “We are excited to partner with the Uniontown YMCA to make this healthy difference and we are looking forward to continuing to provide the care and services that our patients depend on.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, it is recommended that people get “at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both” to help improve health and lower the risk of a stroke.

“I would say the overall goal is to provide something locally for people to build themselves up and become healthier. One of the main goals of the program is to assuage the fears that many patients have. A lot of heart attack patients are afraid,” said Krysak who added this program would provide them with a place where they could feel safe starting a healthy lifestyle.

Anyone who is interested in participating in the program should contact his or her doctor and request to be enrolled in the new cardiac program.

“If someone would be interested in participating, the first thing they should do is reach out to their physician,” said Krysak. “They would have to secure a prescription for it. Once they get started there are progress reports that would get filled out. It is up to the patients and physicians to figure out what is best for them.”

Even though the program is relatively new, some interest has already been generated.

“We are already seeing the program begin to take off. We have one patient already enrolled and nearly a dozen patients have reached out expressing interest,” said Krysak. “We also have several patients referred to the program from other area hospitals. It is exciting to see such a quick response and know we are helping meet the specific needs of our patients.”

The cost of the program is $99 for three months. Anyone who is a member of Silver Sneakers or Silver and Fit would have the fee waived.

George says she hopes that people will take advantage of the program and that it provides a way for people to feel comfortable getting back to exercising.

“I basically hope it helps those coming off of any type of procedure or cardiac program and it helps them feel a little more secure getting back on their own,” she said. “Once they are done with rehab there isn’t an additional place to go and this gives them an additional three months.”

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