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Fixing a heart problem doesn't stop with the medical treatment. Via Christi Vascular Center offers medically supervised, progressive exercise and education programs to rehabilitate and promote cardiac fitness. The Heart Center staff will carefully monitor a patient's progress through a personalized exercise program. Patients will learn disease treatment and risk factor reduction techniques, and have an opportunity to talk with other individuals who have been through similar experiences.

Phase I
Patients begin rehabilitation when they are hospitalized. A cardiac nurse or physical therapist will visit the patient's room to discuss coronary heart disease, diet and exercise guidelines, stress management and medications. The health care professional will assist the patient in the first steps of recovery, providing escorted hall walks while monitoring pulse, blood pressure and cardiac rhythms.

Phase II
This is a 12-week program provides EKG monitoring and education during therapeutic exercise classes. Patients continue rehabilitation on an outpatient basis participating three times per week.

Phase III
Patients are allowed to continue a variety of cardiovascular and toning exercise options under the supervision of a registered nurse, or exercise specialist. Each patient's pulse rate and blood pressure will be checked before, during and after each session.

A physician's referral is required to enter the cardiac rehabilitation program. Phase I and II of cardiac rehabilitation are generally reimbursed by insurance. Phase III rehabilitation is offered at a low monthly fee.

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