RVH and YMCA work together to improve care for residents who experience a cardiac episode
December 10th, 2015 by Louise Picot
Heart patients from throughout North Simcoe Muskoka will now have access to rehabilitation services in the community thanks to a partnership between Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) and the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.
As a first step the newly established program, YMCA Healthy Hearts, will be located at both the Barrie YMCA and Innisfil YMCA providing rehabilitation services to both low- and high-risk cardiac patients.
“Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised program that typically includes an exercise plan, nutrition counselling, smoking cessation, and stress management. These programs reduce both the risk of death and of a subsequent cardiac episode,” says Dr. Mohammed Haqqi, cardiologist and cardiac rehabilitation lead, RVH.
YMCA Healthy Hearts
RVH currently provides an intensive 12-week rehabilitation program for moderate to high-risk heart patients. The YMCA program will focus on low-risk patients who do not need to participate in a hospital-based program and patients who are transitioned from RVH.
“The YMCA’s vision is to inspire people to reach their full potential. This collaboration between RVH and the YMCA achieves that goal,” says Karen Pulla, vice-president, Health, Fitness and Aquatics, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka. “By providing cardiac patients with a smooth transition of care from hospital to community rehabilitation, we are helping them regain strength, prevent their condition from worsening, reduce their risk of future heart problems, and improve their health and quality of life. And ultimately, we’re helping these patients achieve sustainable wellness.”
This arrangement is just the latest building block in the foundation RVH is building for a strong comprehensive cardiovascular program which includes an Advanced Cardiac Centre. Currently, North Simcoe Muskoka is the only region in the province without an Advanced Cardiac Centre. That means most heart patients in North Simcoe Muskoka must travel to centres outside the region for lifesaving heart procedures. RVH’s Advanced Cardiac Centre, expected to open in early 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.