Emory Saint Joseph's outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program offers patient-centered care

July 21, 2014

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Emory Saint Joseph's Cardiac Rehabilitation program includes education classes on heart healthy living and risk factor modification as well as a supervised cardiac fitness program and the opportunity to meet with a registered dietician.

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital and the Emory HeartWise℠ Risk Reduction Program at Clifton Road have combined to offer high quality, patient centered care, extended hours and a variety of services to benefit cardiac rehabilitation patients. This medically supervised program is open to patients at 5673 Peachtree Dunwoody Road on the Emory Saint Joseph's campus.

The program is headed by medical director Basil Margolis MD, FACC, unit director Jocelyn Disher, RN, and program manager Kathy Lee Bishop, PT, DPT, CCS as well as a team of exercise physiologists, registered nurses and other personnel. Patients eligible for referral to the program include those who have experienced a heart attack, percutaneous intervention, heart valve repair or replacement, coronary artery bypass graft surgery, heart failure or heart transplant surgery as well as those with chronic stable angina. All these diagnoses are fully covered by medical insurance.

Emory Saint Joseph's Cardiac Rehabilitation program includes education classes on heart healthy living and risk factor modification as well as a supervised cardiac fitness program and the opportunity to meet with a registered dietician.

Upon entering the program, each patient undergoes a comprehensive medical and fitness evaluation. "Our exercise physiologists then design a personalized exercise program for each patient," said program manager Bishop. "In addition the patients are guided and encouraged to exercise at home when not participating in the program at our facility." In the Emory Saint Joseph's Cardiac Rehabilitation program each patient's care is overseen at each visit by members of the medical team. This includes helping patients implement healthy lifestyle changes through education, as well as diabetes management, blood pressure control and cholesterol monitoring.

"Cardiac rehab contributes to a significant improvement in our patients' quality of life. Our program is unique in that we look after the patient as a whole and not just their heart," said medical director Margolis. "In addition, multiple studies have shown that patients who participate in a cardiac rehab program have an approximately 30% reduced incidence of repeat cardiac events down the road as well as a significantly lower incidence of hospital readmissions," he added. "Despite these enormous benefits it is unfortunate that only about 20% of eligible patients nationwide are referred by their cardiologists to a cardiac rehab program."

The Emory Saint Joseph's Cardiac Rehabilitation program is one of only a few Atlanta programs certified through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. For more information about the program, call 404-843-7663.