Patients with heart conditions and in need of cardiac rehabilitation can now get the supervised exercise services they need in Fort Erie at a satellite clinic operated by the Niagara Health System.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a set of lifestyle programs designed to lower the risk for developing future heart problems. The full program includes counselling on making healthy eating choices; supervised exercise program; smoking cessation; stress and relaxation classes; and educational classes.
Niagara Health’s cardiac rehab program runs out of the Ontario Street Site in St. Catharines, the Greater Niagara General Site in Niagara Falls and the Welland Site. All of the programming, except for the exercise component, takes place in the hospital setting. This month, the program expanded its exercise services to Fort Erie, where a clinic is offered two afternoons a week off site at the local community YMCA. These classes are fully supervised by hospital exercise specialists and registered nurses.
“The program received funding to expand to Fort Erie as part of a one-year pilot project,” says Health Program Director Debbie Smith. “We worked closely with Fort Erie’s family doctors to set up this new service in the town, and we look forward to evaluating the program in a year and seeing what other opportunities might be available to bring additional cardiac rehab services here based on the healthcare needs of residents in the community.”
A referral by a family doctor or specialist is needed to participate in the exercise program. Patients will include people who have had or are awaiting heart surgery as well as those who have had a heart attack or angioplasty, angina, congestive heart failure or cardiomyopathy, or a heart transplant.