TMH opens center for healthy hearts

The Memorial Hospital wants community members to have healthy hearts, and it has invested the funds and the staffing resources to do that.

The result can be seen next week. Community members are invited to the grand re-opening of The Memorial Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Center from 4:30 to 6:30 Tuesday. People will meet TMH staff members, tour the facility and enjoy "heart-healthy" goodies.

The Center has been upgraded with brand new, state-the-art equipment including a treadmill, weight equipment and a rowing machine.

"There is a whole gamut of exercise that focuses on cardiac rehabilitation," TMH Community Relations Director Heather Houseworth said.

The program is currently open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Patients need a referral from their doctor to participate.

According to Jim Zimmerman, the director of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, rehabilitation programs, which provide secondary prevention services for people who have cardiovascular disease, are an effective means to reduce morbidity, mortality and costs associated with heart disease.

"Intervention is preventative maintenance to keep you healthy and keep you from having problems again," Houseworth said. "Once people become aware, the benefits are countless. Just like any new service, it's just educating the public that it's here."

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, costing billions of dollars for treatment of heart attack, bypass surgery, angioplasty and heart failure, Zimmerman said.

"Economical and clinical outcomes of cardiac rehabilitation have been well documented," he said. "Scientific evidence accumulated over the past three decades supports the use of cardiac rehabilitation services as not only beneficial, but necessary."

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