The St. Joseph Cardiovascular Fitness Department, staffed by nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, and exercise technicians  provides education, counseling, behavior modification, and exercise through a variety of programs aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease. Programs are for anyone interested in either prevention of, or recovery from, cardiovascular disease.The University of Maryland St. Joseph Cardiovascular Fitness Department, staffed by nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, and exercise technicians provides education, counseling, behavior modification, and exercise through a variety of programs aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease. Programs are for anyone interested in either prevention of, or recovery from, cardiovascular disease.

The Cardiac Rehab Program has been awarded Program Certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Certification recognizes those programs that have been rigorously reviewed by a national board and found to meet the outlined essential requirements for standards of care.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

  • Reduced risk of heart attack.
  • Ability to recognize heart disease signs and symptoms.
  • Improved ability to cope with heart disease.
  • Introduction to a personalized exercise program that is effective, safe and appropriate for your health, age and physical ability.
  • Increased understanding of heart medications.
  • Assistance in preparing to return to work.
  • Increased physical activity for work and recreation.
  • Adoption of positive lifestyle changes to improve quality of life.

Phase I of Recovery

The first phase of rehabilitation provides education as well as psychological and social support for hospitalized heart patients. In this phase, patients begin to increase their level of activity. In this early stage of rehabilitation, we help open-heart patients:

  • Appreciate the importance of entering cardiac rehabilitation following open heart surgery
  • Learn specially designed range-of-motion exercises to increase flexibility and assist in healing
  • Review appropriate progression of activity and exercise guidelines
  • Review the guidelines for the appropriate progression of activity and exercise

Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery is a class that helps open heart surgery patients transition from Phase I to Phase II of Cardiac Rehabilitation. This class takes place within 10 to 14 days after discharge from the hospital.

Road to Recovery provides these patients and their loved ones with an opportunity to learn and ask questions about next steps in the open heart surgery recovery process.

Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation

This early convalescent outpatient phase is designed for those recovering from a heart attack, bypass surgery, stable angina, arrhythmia, stabilized congestive heart failure or angioplasty.

Sessions in Phase II provide intensified education and counseling in risk factor modification, as well as exercise. Patients learn how to make healthy changes in diet, activity level and daily living that will contribute to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Exercise is individualized, progressive, monitored and supervised. Patients attend sessions three times a week for up to 12 weeks. The length of Phase II may vary based on medical status and reimbursement potential. Prospective patients are encouraged to verify coverage through their medical insurance carrier. Cardiovascular Fitness staff are available to help guide patients through this process.

Cardiovascular Fitness Information. Upon registration, a physician referral is necessary, as are your medical records. A graded exercise test is generally required prior to entering Phase II cardiac rehab.

Location and Parking. Parking for patients and visitors is available in the Patient/Visitor parking garage located next to the O'Dea Medical Arts Building. Patients and visitors are cautioned not to park in reserved areas or certain restricted areas. Please be sure to lock your car. If something happens which causes you to need assistance with your vehicle, please call the Security department. From outside the medical center, call 410-337-1919; in-house, dial extension 3333.

For more information, please call the Cardiovascular Fitness department at 410-337-1366.