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Cardiac Rehab combines exercise and education to transform patient’s lives

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The Cardiac Rehab program at Speare Memorial Hospital has been transforming patient’s lives for the past 10 years. Charlie Sniffen from Holderness, NH had a bypass and valve replacement before being referred to the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. Charlie admits he was doing all the wrong things. His primary care doctor, Dr. Young, kept worrying about him and telling him he should be doing 10 thousand steps a day. Charlie says, “I didn’t listen.” While he hadn’t had a heart attack, Charlie says, “I was in really bad shape. I couldn’t walk very far without having to stop and catch my breath. Traveling for work I always used to look for the moving walkways in airports as I was so out of breath. ”

That’s when Dr. Young referred him to the visiting CMC cardiologists. Preliminary tests showed he was going to need surgery . . . immediately. After surgery he came to Speare’s Cardiac Rehab.

“Craig and Rachel were fantastic, the program with education was great . . . every day was amazing.” After graduating, Charlie went on to join RehabFIT at Rachel’s recommendation. You can now find him at the gym six days a week at 5:30 a.m. He says, “I feel better than I have in 25 years.” And when he is traveling, he no longer uses the moving walkways at airports.

While the success of the program isn’t a surprise to Exercise Physiologist Craig Johnson, how the program has evolved is a surprise. “When the program started 10 years ago we didn’t have cardiologists from Catholic Medical Center (CMC) coming to Speare,” recalls Craig. “One of the first things I did was to go down and meet with CMC to align their patient discharges with referrals to our Cardiac Rehab program. Ten years later nine out of every ten referrals come from CMC, and now cardiologists are here twice a week helping us provide the full continuum of cardiac care right here at Speare.”

Charlie Sniffen’s Cardiac Rehab Success Story

Cardiac Rehabilitation at Speare Memorial Hospital is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has graduated nearly 500 people from the program. The Cardiac Rehab program at Speare is medically prescribed and supervised, and nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Working in tandem with your cardiologist, our exercise physiologists develop a specialized treatment plan for each patient. To learn more please click here to visit our Cardiac Rehab page or call call 603-238-6440.

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