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WMH Cardiac Rehab program receives national certification

4:43 PM, Dec. 6, 2012  |  Comments
Harold 'Jumbo' TeBeest, a 75-year-old Brandon resident knows firsthand the benefits of going to cardiac rehab at Waupun Memorial Hospital. He is back to enjoying the things he loves to do like golfing and woodworking.
Harold 'Jumbo' TeBeest, a 75-year-old Brandon resident knows firsthand the benefits of going to cardiac rehab at Waupun Memorial Hospital. He is back to enjoying the things he loves to do like golfing and woodworking.
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Waupun Memorial Hospital's Cardiac Rehab program is celebrating the news it has received national certification status from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

"The designation ensures that we are meeting the national guidelines and standards set up by AACVPR and other professional organizations," says Beth Pugh, RN, a registered nurse who oversees the smooth operation of the program at Waupun Memorial Hospital, a member of Agnesian HealthCare. "Physicians can refer their patients to us with the confidence that we will take great care of their patients. Hospital administrators embrace program certification because it demonstrates excellence."

Pugh, with the assistance of other associates, worked diligently for nearly two years to track, monitor, log and document everything accurately and meticulously.

"In December, 2011, we began the application process which involved submitting that information to the AACVPR National Certification Committee board who reviewed it," Pugh explains, noting areas assessed include staff competencies, individualized treatment plans for patients, exercise prescription for patients, clinical and behavioral outcome assessments and more.

"Certification offers peace of mind to knowledgeable healthcare consumers," Pugh says. "It also may help patients decide between our program and an uncertified program."

Harold "Jumbo" TeBeest, a 75-year-old Brandon resident, knows firsthand the benefits of going to cardiac rehab in Waupun. Less than two weeks after open heart surgery at the Dale Michels Center for Heart Care at St. Agnes Hospital last November, he started working out at the cardiac rehab unit in Waupun.

"I have been going ever since," TeBeest says. "I was surprised how good I felt so soon after surgery and how quickly I worked up to the capacity I am now."

TeBeest explains that his first heart bypass surgery took place in the Fox Valley 25 years ago. "Cardiac rehab wasn't even mentioned at that time. I don't think it was something they did back then."

With a 45-minute cardiac rehab workout three days a week, TeBeest, whose nickname "Jumbo" stems from his tall (6'4") height, can be found exercising on a variety of equipment that strengthens his heart and entire body. He works his arms and legs on the Nu-Step machine, walks three miles per hour at a five percent grade on the treadmill, rides the elliptical bike, lifts weights and does stretches at the end of each workout.

TeBeest is in phase III of the cardiac rehab programs three stages. Phase I takes place in the hospital when the patient has had a heart-related event such as a heart attack, stent placement or surgery.

"This first phase occurs when someone from cardiac education meets with the patient to tell them about cardiac rehab and get them up and moving - even in the hospital," Pugh says.

Phase II of cardiac rehab takes place after the patient goes home and then returns to the hospital's cardiac rehab unit as an outpatient for six to 12 weeks of heart-monitored exercise. In this phase, the patients exercise under supervision with heart monitors attached to their upper body. Blood pressure readings are taken before, during and after exercising.

Phase III is a self-pay cardiac rehab where patients continue to build strength and endurance through the program indefinitely.

"We continue to watch their vital signs and report any unusual concerns," Pugh says. "We have some patients who have been in Phase III for years. It is amazing to see how these patients become a support group for each other and develop close friendships."

TeBeest lends some insight into the camaraderie that develops when he's working out. "There's one guy who's had a heart transplant. He just amazes me - he walks the treadmill for a solid hour every day," TeBeest says. "Another guy is the comic among us. He's the jokester who has us all laughing."

As someone who loves to golf and does it almost every day at the Rock River Country Club in Waupun, TeBeest says he is back to golfing 18 holes, with a cart. "I am in excellent health now, thanks in part to all the help I've received at cardiac rehab. Beth and the other nurses there are just great and so encouraging."

To learn more, call the Waupun Memorial Hospital Cardiac Rehab program at (920) 324-6544.

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