The Cardiopulmonary Outpatient Rehabilitation programs at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis have moved to a newly remodeled location on the northeast side of the hospital's second floor. Joining them in the move is the Pulmonary Wellness program, previously housed at the Ascension Via Christi Cancer Center.
The new location provides more space for the programs, which continue to grow as patients and their physicians learn of the benefits of monitored exercise with a specialized team. That 12-member team includes exercise specialists, nurses, respiratory therapists and support staff.
"Our team is now better positioned to meet patients' needs and to do so all under one roof," says Jeanne Graf, the programs' coordinator.
In the programs' previous location in a medical office building adjacent to the hospital, they were equipped to serve up to eight outpatients per hour and still maintain the six-foot physical separation needed to help stem the spread of COVID-19 infection. In the new location, they can serve 12, allowing patients to get started and realize the benefits of the programs sooner. Benefits include prolonged survival, improved quality of life and decreased hospitalizations.
Four new treadmills, a weight tower, two upright and three recumbent bikes have been added to the program's existing equipment.
To ensure easy access, a surface parking lot was constructed on the north side of the hospital, with spaces specifically reserved for the program's patients, many of whom cannot yet walk long distances.
Once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, the programs will begin to use the dedicated education room that is part of the new location.
"For now, we will be utilizing the space slightly differently," says Graf. For example, the waiting area will be used for additional chair exercise space and the dedicated education room will be used by the Pulmonary Wellness programs. Once restrictions have been lifted, the entire team will be using the room for educational purposes.
Cardiac Rehabilitation patients are being seen on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and Pulmonary Rehabilitation patients on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In-person Pulmonary Wellness is expected to resume in August.