At the Pulse of Heart Health

MOSES Jeff Cardiac Rehab 250 

Hallmark Health program helps patients live healthier lives after cardiac events

Three times a week, Saugus resident and former firefighter Jeff Moses meets up with friends to exercise. The group takes turns choosing music for their exercise session while they talk and bond with one another. Moses and the others aren’t members of a gym or fitness class; rather, they are patients in Hallmark Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

Cardiac Rehabilitation, offered at Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford and Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, is a comprehensive program designed for patients who have had a heart attack or other cardiac event such as cardiac surgery, balloon angioplasty, stent placement, stable angina pectoris or congestive heart failure. Hallmark Health’s program is certified by the Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and includes a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, cardiac rehab nursing specialists, pulmonary rehab nursing specialists, exercise physiologists, physical therapists and dietitians, who are all focused on getting patients back on track to a healthier lifestyle.

Cardiac Rehab begins while patients are in the hospital and continues on an outpatient basis once they are discharged. Patients exercise while supervised by cardiac nurses and exercise physiologists or physical therapists. Each session is tailored to the individual abilities of the patients. Patients also attend group classes that cover risk factors, exercise, stress management, diet and cardiac topics. The goal is to help patients make a permanent healthy-lifestyle change so that they can live a long, productive, meaningful life.

While the focus of the program is to help patients achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Hallmark Health goes well beyond that.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Moses says of Cardiac Rehab. “It’s not like going to the gym – you talk, you joke. It’s like a little therapy session.”

“Patients do enjoy the exercise sessions, but it is important to remember that they are in a supervised program as they recover,” said Joan Keneally-Nies, RN, BSN, senior clinician. “Our patients are monitored as they workout to ensure that if there are any problems, we can respond immediately.”

Moses, 60, felt short of breath while working at a fire on Sept. 15, 2014. Paramedics on scene examined and sent him to the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital Emergency Department. Within minutes of his arrival, ED staff were certain Moses was experiencing a cardiac event and ordered a stress test and within 24 hours a cardiac catherization. It was determined that one of Moses’ coronary arteries was 95 percent blocked and a stent was placed in the artery.

Moses has taken the lifestyle changes he has learned through Cardiac Rehab and made them a part of his everyday life – a healthier diet and regular walks with his wife, Marianne. He is committed to maintaining these positive changes so he can keep up with their growing family, which already includes four grandchildren!



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