Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program

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Patient Stories

A Winning Combination

Between emergency room visits and her 12 years in the pulmonary rehab program, retired school librarian Maryclare Burke estimates that Milford Regional has saved her life three times. Maryclare is the first blended patient of the newly created cardiopulmonary department. Read Maryclare's story.

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Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Milford Regional’s cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs have joined together to offer a unified, comprehensive approach that ensures exceptional, seamless care for all of our patients. Although each program has some differences, by cross-training the staff and combining their knowledge and skills, we have developed a stronger program for all patients who require rehabilitation.

Our Team

The combined cardiopulmonary rehabilitation team – including the medical directors, program director, cardiologists, pulmonologists, registered nurses, pulmonary rehab coordinator, exercise specialists, respiratory therapists, dietitians, diabetic specialists, a social worker and secretary - guides each patient in an effort to build a lifetime commitment to achieve quality of life. The program is held on the second floor of the Hill Health Center in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center.

Our Program

AACVPR LogoMilford Regional Medical Center houses the first cardiac rehabilitation program to be certified by AACVPR (American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation) in the state of Massachusetts. For more than twenty five years the Milford Regional Cardiac Rehab staff has helped members of our community take control of their cardiovascular health.

AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. The program is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee and Certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.  AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

For the Cardiac Patient

cardiac rehab patientCardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help heart patients recover quickly by developing an individualized treatment plan that provides evaluation and instruction on physical activity, nutrition, stress management, and other health related areas as needed. Cardiac rehabilitation makes a difference – a big difference – in the quality of life that patients can achieve when recovering from:
• Heart attack
• Angina
• Coronary artery angioplasty or stents
• Open heart surgery such as coronary bypass or valve surgery
• Heart failure
• Heart transplantation
We will assess your personal risk factor for heart and blood vessel disease and develop an individualized exercise program for you. Next, we will educate and support you in making healthy lifestyle changes such as heart healthy eating, reducing or maintaining your weight and smoking cessation. Your personalized plan will help to improve your strength and stamina so you can get back to your usual activities including work and hobbies.

Benefits of the Cardiac Program

Cardiac rehabilitation is proven to make a significant difference in the lives of cardiac patients. Studies show that participation in a cardiac rehab program will help you:
• Live longer and lessen your chances for another heart attack
• Control and/or reduce symptoms such as fatigue, chest pain or shortness of breath
• Increase exercise ability
• Improve lipid panel (total cholesterol, HDL [good cholesterol], LDL [bad cholesterol], and triglycerides)
• Enhance ability to perform activities of daily living
• Lessen the physical and emotional effects of heart disease including anxiety and depression
• Reduce hospitalizations for cardiovascular disease
• Return to work or leisure activities

For the Pulmonary Patient

pulmonary rehab patientPulmonary rehabilitation is a medically supervised program which includes an exercise and educational component that is designed to help all patients with lung disease improve their quality of life. This program provides tremendous benefits to patients with:

• Severe asthma
• Emphysema
• Chronic bronchitis
• Lung disease resulting from lung surgery, pneumonia, chest wall or neuromuscular disease, or those that are a candidate for lung transplant or volume reduction surgery

To enter the program, you must have a lung disease or other medical disease that causes you to have difficult or uncomfortable breathing, abnormal breathing tests and difficulty breathing when performing necessary daily activities. Participants enjoy the benefits of both an individualized exercise regimen and group educational sessions.

Benefits of the Pulmonary Program

• Less fatigue and breathlessness while performing daily tasks
• Learning exercises to strengthen upper and lower body and breathing muscles
• Walking 20 – 30 minutes without pause
• A much better understanding of your lung disease and medications
• Gaining valuable coping skills to ease your stress
• Acquiring greater knowledge on healthy eating
• Learning energy conservation techniques

Coffee Hour/Support Group

Peer-to-peer relationships often develop during the cardiopulmonary program that provides an opportunity to meet and share stories with other patients like you. The encouragement of each other is so valuable that a monthly coffee hour/support group was created for socialization. It extends throughout the day on the third Wednesday and Thursday of the month to accommodate all the cardiopulmonary rehab patients.

Cardiac & Pulmonary Maintenance Programs

Upon completion of the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program, many patients choose to sustain the improvements made in their health by enrolling in maintenance programs that are offered in both areas for a small monthly fee.

Parking Made Easy

For your convenience, free valet parking is available near the entrance to the Hill Health Center located in the rear of Milford Regional off Route 140. Several handicap parking spaces are also available near the Imaging Center Entrance. 

Cardiopulmonary Referrals

To enter our cardiopulmonary program you will need to obtain a referral from your physician, however, we encourage you to call us at 508-422-2464 for assistance in accessing our services or to answer any questions you may have about our program.

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