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Published on May 17, 2019

Exercise physiologist Kelsey Paarmann, MS, works with patient Robert Middleton in Cardiac Rehab.

Offering relief, close to home

Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics offers patients with cardiovascular conditions and chronic lung diseases programs that will improve their quality of life, close to home.

The Cardiac and Peripheral Artery Disease Rehabilitation programs use exercise, education and support to restore cardiac fitness to those recovering from a heart attack or other cardiac event, a heart procedure or those with heart disease or other chronic heart conditions.

"The overall goal of the program is to help people with heart conditions live full, rewarding lives, make healthy changes and maintain an active lifestyle," says Kelsey Paarmann, exercise physiologist, Cardiac Rehab.

Several times a week, patients participate in aerobic and strength exercises in an individualized program and learn more about their condition to reduce future risk factors, she says.

"Patients will leave the program with the knowledge and tools to properly maintain their health and progress that was made throughout the program," Kelsey says. "Each patient should be able to leave with the confidence and independence to live a healthier and better-quality life."

Patients with obstructive and restrictive chronic lung diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and sarcoidosis, can find relief through Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Gundersen Tri-County.

In customized programs, respiratory therapists work with patients to control and alleviate symptoms, increase independence and decrease the chances the disease worsens, says Amy Schultz, respiratory therapist, Respiratory Therapy, a certified COPD educator. That includes education to understand the disease, supervised exercise to build strength and a routine to implement at home.

"Sometimes people are given a chronic lung diagnosis and have no idea what that means for them," Amy says. "Pulmonary Rehab gives them education so they can understand their new disease and how to live with it."

Both programs require a referral from a provider.

Learn more about these and other rehabilitation programs offered at Gundersen Tri-County Hospital and Clinics.

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