Heart health program available at PCMH

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For over five years, the Cardiopulminary Rehab Department at Pecos County Memorial Hospital has aided those with heart and lung issues by helping them exercise and teaching them the proper ways to care for themselves in their daily lives.

“In cardiac and pulmonary rehab, patients have been referred by their physicians,” said Cardiac Rehab Director Diane Pass. “A lot of patients have had bypasses or congestive heart failure and the doctor wants them to begin the program soon after. We have the patients exercise, and they are monitored during this time through an EKG monitor.”

“I’ve seen some patients who have had surgery on Friday, and on the following Monday, they are here in our office,” Office Manager Kena Whitfield said. “They don’t mess around! They want them to start exercising as soon as possible to maintain their health.”

Each patient has 36 visits for rehab, spanning 12 weeks.

“That’s because of insurance,” Pass said.

After a patient graduates the rehab program, they are placed in a program entitled Positive Lifestyle Changes (PLC) free of charge.

“This is basically just teaching people to exercise and live healthier,” Pass said. “We focus on diet and exercise in daily life.”

“PLC also helps people learn how to manage their diabetes,” Whitfield said. “We teach them about the proper diet and exercise, but also how to track their blood sugar. After the program, we find that people know what does and doesn’t make their blood sugar spike, and they are healthier overall.”

Both women said that their main goal is to graduate each patient into the hospital’s gym, where they will be healthy and strong enough to maintain their exercise routine without supervision.

For more information on this program, call Pecos County Memorial Hospital at 432-336-4856.

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