Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Road to Recovery

CUTLINE: HCMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Program is able to work with all levels of heart patients, including transplant patients – three are currently in our program. Pictured from left to right Kristina Cannon, 4-week heart transplant patient; Joni Launer, 8-week heart transplant patient; and Arthur Lodge 14-year heart transplant patient.

PARIS, TN – Each year, roughly 915,000 Americans will have a heart attack and more than 30% will have a second and potentially fatal event. In Henry County, we have the 12th highest death rate for heart disease, and TN is the 5th highest state for deaths due to heart disease.

That is why Henry County Medical Center wants to ensure that cardiology services are available right here at home because it is the leading cause of death in our county.  HCMC recently announced the affiliation and plan to grow forward with an expanded program with a cardiologist living in our community.

But, that is not the only service that is needed to expand our heart program and luckily we already have one of those services right here, right now, serving our patients and their heart needs.

Cardiac rehabilitation reduces the risk of a future cardiac event by stabilizing, slowing or even reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease. Patients with other cardiovascular diseases such as valve repair, heart failure and transplants also benefit from cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Henry County Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Program, Phase II, is an exercise and education program designed to help you take better care of your heart. The exercise program will be designed just for you by your physician, with the help of a registered nurse, to help your heart become a stronger and more effective pump. You will be closely monitored during the sessions to evaluate your response to the prescribed exercise. Your physician will receive reports on your progress.

HCMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Program is able to work with all levels of heart patients, including transplant patients.  Three are currently in our program:  Kristina Cannon, 4-week heart transplant patient; Joni Launer, 8-week heart transplant patient; and Arthur Lodge 14-year heart transplant patient.  Cannon, our most recent transplant patient, is also an employee with HCMC EMS.

“HCMC’s Cardiac Rehab gave me my life back,” said Arthur Lodge, 14 year heart transplant patient. “After my heart attack I came here to build up my strength and never felt better. When I later found out I would need a heart transplant, there was nowhere else I wanted to go to get me back on my feet.”

Only 14-35% of eligible heart attack survivors and 31% of patients after coronary bypass surgery participate in a cardiac rehab program. The utilization rate for eligible Medicare beneficiaries is an even lower 12%. One of the main reasons for low participation in cardiac rehab programs is the lack of referrals from a patient’s physician. If you have any of the signs or conditions listed below, make sure to talk to your doctor and ask for a referral.

You can benefit from Cardiac Rehabilitation if:

  • You have had a Myocardial Infarction (MI) within the past 12 months
  • You have had Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG)
  • You have stable angina with current documentation in your medical chart
  • You have had a heart transplant
  • You have had a valve replacement/repair within the past 12 months
  • You have had coronary stents within the past 12 months
  • You have Heart Failure with ejection fraction less than 35

“I didn’t know anything was wrong with me. I was out cutting down trees in my yard one day, developed a cough, and the next day I was being told I had heart failure. I had my transplant around eight weeks ago at St. Thomas and started rehab here at HCMC about a month ago,” said Joni Launer, 8-week heart transplant patient. “My experience thus far has been nothing short of wonderful. The staff is exceptional, knowledgeable and so welcoming. They monitor you like you are their own family and fill the room with positive energy.”

Getting a referral to participate in the program is the first step in the road to recovery. Once you have the prescription to participate it is important that you actually attend and make it a standing date with yourself. Cardiac rehab is an investment in your future health, so make it a priority. When attending your rehab session learn all you can, ask questions, express concerns and set goals with your rehab team.

“Our rehab facility here at HCMC is an amazing place,” said Christie Glass, Charge Nurse in Cardiac Rehab. “There is nothing more encouraging than watching a patient’s road to recovery, improve their exercise tolerance and regain their independence in a supportive family-like environment.”

Patients must have a physician referral to participate in the program. For more information call 731-644-8558 on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

About Henry County Medical Center
Located in Paris, TN, Henry County Medical Center is a progressive, integrated healthcare organization committed to serving the healthcare needs of Henry County and the adjoining region.  Including a 142-bed hospital and other facilities, the medical center provides a variety of outpatient services, as well as inpatient care. Additionally, HCMC owns and operates 8 provider clinics in various specialties.  Henry County Medical Center is a county-owned and operated nonprofit institution. For more information: