USC-VHH cardiac rehab helps patients get stronger in a supervised setting.

Exercise is essential for people with heart disease to keep their heart as healthy as possible. But it can also be extremely intimidating to go to a regular gym or work out on their own at home, because many worry about what might happen if they overdo it and put too much strain on their heart.

With these concerns in mind, we created the cardiac rehabilitation program at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USC-VHH). In our cardiac rehab gym, people are guided through their exercises to learn how to improve their health while exercising safely. They also get the peace of mind that many need, because they are supervised by medical staff who will intervene if they experience any kind of distress.

“For a lot of these patients, it is important they exercise in a medically supervised setting, where they are monitored for things such as arrhythmia or other irregularities that can be dangerous,” says Rick Andrews, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation manager at USC-VHH.

Our cardiac rehabilitation program was designed with our patients’ safety in mind at every step. People who enroll in the cardiac rehabilitation program at USC-VHH first undergo a thorough evaluation with an exercise physiologist. Our staff, who are specifically trained to work with people with cardiac conditions, then design an exercise program to meet that person’s individual needs.

Our gym at USC-VHH offers these patients an optimum environment for exercising safely because participants are monitored with electrocardiograms and blood oxygen monitors during their workouts, which means our staff can detect if one of the participants is in distress.

Finally, USC-VHH also has a trained medical response team on site if a participant has a true medical emergency during their workout. The fact that our facility is within a hospital means that people can receive a higher level of medical care when necessary, and it is just steps from our door.

Our cardiac rehab participants also have access to more than just help with their exercise routines. Through our program, they have access to a broad range of other experts who can help them to deal with other risk factors including dietitians, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and occupational therapists.

Insurance typically covers up to 36 sessions, but participants can continue their exercise program by enrolling in our Continuous Aerobic Maintenance Program (C.A.M.P.) by paying a small monthly fee once they have completed their initial care.

Many participants keep coming to the gym after their insurance coverage ends, because they realize that it is a safe, caring environment, says Michelle Sullivan, associate administrator of ancillary services at USC-VHH.

“We believe this is another thing that makes USC-VHH a special place,” says Sullivan.

The experts at the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital (USCVHH) Cardiac Rehabilitation Program (CRP) offer supervised exercise programs to treat cardiac conditions in a safe setting. Call (800) USC-CARE or request an appointment to get the most appropriate care for your needs.