HMC Cardiac Rehabilitation program helps patient regain health

Monday, November 07, 2011

  From left are Jessica Gowin, Cardiac Rehabilitation exercise physiologist; Jim Brock, Hamilton Cardiac Rehab patient; and Tina Black, Cardiac Rehabilitation manager.


Hamilton Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Designed to assist cardiac patients with these conditions:
Heart attack

Heart surgery (by-pass, valve replacement)

Stent placement

Congestive Heart Failure

Angina (current)


Heart transplant
Medicare and most insurance plans cover the cost of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.

DALTON, Ga.  – Jim Brock was well aware that he had a history of heart disease in his family. That is why he faithfully exercised by walking six miles a week. Though that was helpful, it wasn’t enough.

One February afternoon, Brock was told that he had 100 percent blockage in one artery, 90 percent blockage in another, and 70 percent blockage behind his heart. He had never had even the slightest symptom.

To his surprise, he was sent for immediate heart surgery and was the recipient of a quintuple heart bypass.

“The good thing was that I didn’t have time to worry,” Brock says. “The diagnosis and the surgery were completed in one day.” It was what he would do next that would require the most effort on his part.  

Brock was referred to Hamilton Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Bradley Wellness Center (BWC) and started his first cardiac rehabilitation class only a few weeks after his surgery.  At first, he says, it was difficult. Initially he found that it took him three times as long to walk the same distance he had in the past. But soon, the exercise he was performing and the encouragement he was receiving began to make a difference.

Since walking through the doors of BWC in April 2008, Brock has completed 460 exercise classes. “Every step is for my heart,” he says. “It’s hard to give yourself that time each week. But I try to remember that I need to be obedient to myself for the sake of my health.”

Hamilton’s medically supervised Cardiac Rehabilitation Center houses a physician, registered nurse, registered dietitian, and several exercise physiologists. After a physician’s referral, an assessment is completed and an individualized exercise plan is created for each patient. During exercise, patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm are monitored. Monthly progress reports are sent to the referring physician and patients are educated on heart disease, exercise, stress management, and nutrition.
Patients typically attend cardiac rehabilitation classes two or three times a week for 12 weeks.

“The goal of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is to equip cardiac patients with the tools they need to make good choices and to help them improve their physical, mental and emotional well-being,” says Tina Black, Cardiac Rehabilitation manager.

After completing Hamilton’s 12-week Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, Brock took advantage of the Progressive Rehabilitation Exercise Program (PREP) at BWC. PREP is a supervised exercise program designed for individuals who have special medical needs.

Brock credits his wife for encouraging him to have his heart evaluated and the staff of Hamilton Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for their service to him. “I continue to come here because I have all the confidence in the world in them. It’s a safe place to be. No one comes in here to show off. We’re all in here to get healthy and stay healthy,” he says.

For more information on Hamilton Medical Center’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, call 706-272-6574 or go to their website page.