Cardiac Rehab Center is up and running

Cardiac Rehab Showcase

CMF’s 2023 fundraising campaign crosses the finish line

Cascade Medical’s new cardiac rehabilitation center has hit the ground running — well, make that moving at a steady, well-monitored pace, per doctor’s orders.

The center, providing individualized exercise therapy, education and social support for those recovering from a recent cardiac event, opened in early January under the umbrella of Cascade Medical’s physical therapy department.

The center was the focus of Cascade Medical Foundation’s 2023 fundraising campaign, an $87,000 goal to cover the costs of equipment — a cross trainer, recumbent bike, upper body ergometer and monitoring devices — as well as staff training. The idea was to improve care available locally to cardiac patients in Leavenworth and the surrounding communities, making it easier to get life-saving rehab without the drive to Wenatchee or beyond.

Research shows cardiac rehab speeds recovery and prevents rehospitalizations and death following cardiac events. It improves heart health, slows the progression of heart disease and improves quality of life — but completing the prescribed 36 sessions covered by most insurances can be challenging. Cutting the travel time for the three-day-a-week schedule encourages more people to see it through.

“It was so nice to learn that I didn’t have to go to Wenatchee,” said Kay Scott, who was the second patient to enroll in Cascade Medical’s new program in early 2024.

Kay Scott gets a blood pressure check as part of a cardiac rehab therapy session at Cascade Medical. She is one of the first Cascade Medical patients to enroll in the program that opened in January. Funding was provided by Cascade Medical Foundation.

The long-time Leavenworth resident learned about the option as she was being discharged from the University of Washington Medical Center after undergoing a series of procedures, including a stent placement, valve replacement and a pacemaker, in short order.

Her cardiac event journey had started on Dec. 26 at Cascade Medical’s emergency room, prompted by her children insisting that something was wrong. She wasn’t convinced. She was tired, but attributed it to the activity during the holidays, including babysitting the grandkids.

She wasn’t expecting to be told she was having a heart attack.

“There was no pain. That’s something people should be aware of,” she said.  

The UW hospital team, as they were preparing to send her home, explained she would have in-home occupational therapy followed by a couple months of cardiac rehabilitation at a therapy center. She pictured the 30-minute drive to and from Wenatchee (an hour total) three times a week. She balked.

But then the doctors said, “No, not Wenatchee. You can get the rehabilitation at Cascade Medical. CM’s new cardiac rehab therapy center opened in January.”

She was thrilled, she said. By mid-March, she was seeing progress, gaining strength and not quite as wary.

Since then, Cascade Medical’s Cardiac Rehab Center roster has continued to grow.

Top photo: A group of Cascade Medical Foundation donors and board members gather March 3 for a tour of the new Cardiac Rehab Center. The afternoon event included presentations by Joe Aponik, Katie Faw and Erin Adams as well as a cardiac rehab diet overview by CM Nutritionist Katelin Limon. Photo: Tim Campbell