RVH and YMCA Make Cardiac Rehab More Accessible

Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) and the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka are celebrating the one-year anniversary of an innovative partnership that ensures heart patients from throughout North Simcoe Muskoka have access to rehabilitation services in the community.

“This is truly a celebration, not just for RVH and our partners at the YMCA, but for the 112 people who over the past year have been able to receive their cardiovascular rehabilitation in the community through the YMCA’s Healthy Hearts program,” says Dr. Mohammed Haqqi, cardiologist and cardiac rehabilitation lead, RVH. “Cardiovascular rehabilitation is as good as any of the cardiac medication prescribed to people after having a heart attack. In fact, participating in cardiovascular rehabilitation reduces mortality by 20-30 per cent, five years post participation,” says Dr. Mohammed Haqqi, cardiologist and cardiac rehabilitation lead, RVH.  “In my opinion it is one of the best things you can do for your heart health after having a heart attack.”

“Through education and supervised exercise, we’re helping cardiovascular patients and those at risk of developing heart disease take an active role in improving their health, increasing their physical fitness and reducing the risk of future heart problems, says Joel Seymour, Healthy Hearts Specialist, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. “It’s a partnership that truly makes sense, and its changing lives.”

This partnership is the latest building block in the foundation RVH is developing for a strong advanced cardiac program. Construction has begun on the advanced cardiac centre at RVH. The centre, slated to be operation in late 2017, will provide diagnostics and interventions such as angiograms and angioplasty, giving patients access to faster treatment, a shorter hospital stay and less travel time.

Photo: Joel Seymour (left), Healthy Hearts Specialist, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, and Susan Carlisle, physiotherapist, RVH,explain the RVH/YMCA partnership to Paul Terry, a participant in the health centre’s 12- week cardiovascular rehabilitation program. Terry will will soon be transitioning from RVH’s program to the YMCA’s Healthy Hearts program to continue his path to wellness following heart surgery.

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