October 23, 2012

CVPH cardiac rehab receives national certification

PLATTSBURGH — The CVPH Cardiac Rehabilitation program has received official accolades for the services it provides to the region’s heart patients.

The program was recently granted certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, a national leader in promoting quality care for patients with cardiovascular and pulmonary disease.

“It’s a very nice recognition,” said Shirley Doolen, a registered nurse who runs the rehab program with Pamela Ryan, a certified clinical training specialist.

“As a national certifying organization, they set the standards for cardiac exercise and education. They’ve established guidelines for how to treat patients who’ve had a cardiac event.”

“Certification means that we are meeting or exceeding the national guidelines,” added Dr. Christopher Palma, a cardiologist with Lake Champlain Cardiology Associates. “It’s akin to board certification for a physician.”


Doolan and Ryan visit all patients at CVPH who are recovering from a heart attack or open-heart surgery to introduce them to the rehabilitation program.

Cardiovascular programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems, including heart attacks and open-heart surgery. Services are designed to help them recover faster and improve their quality of life. Activities include exercise, education and counseling for patients and their families.

“We like to make sure our patients are aware of the program right from the start,” Palma said. “This is a service that has been proven to assist in a patient’s recovery and to enhance a patient’s quality of life.”

As people are recovering from a heart condition or treatment in the hospital, staff point them toward the road to recovery with initial therapy sessions.

Patients often have some reservations about beginning an exercise program soon after a cardiac event. Part of the benefit of the rehab program is they are closely monitored as they begin their personalized activities, a step that helps increase patient confidence.

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