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Hospital honors longtime cardiac rehab patients
Hinsdale – Adventist Hinsdale Hospital honored five longtime cardiopulmonary rehabilitation patients who have completed more than 2,000 and 3,000 visits to this intensive, clinically-based program. Outpatient rehabilitation, which begins two to six weeks after discharge for patients who’ve experienced a heart attack or other cardiac event, consists of an exercise program closely supervised by exercise physiologists and nurses, risk factor education, social support, and a plan to meet the patient’s goals. The main purpose of the program is to strengthen the heart and avoid re-hospitalization.

Two of the longtime patients, Hank Bird and Byron Murgatroyd, have become close friends since starting the program in 1983. Bird has since logged more than 3,000 visits and Murgatroyd has logged more than 2,000 visits. Now widowers, the men and their wives used to socialize and travel together.

“The cardiac rehab center is a big part of my life,” said Murgatroyd, an 83-year-old Burr Ridge resident, adding that exercise “is one of the secrets to longevity.”

Murgatroyd and Bird, an 88-year-old former Hinsdale resident who now lives in Downers Grove, visit the rehab center three times a week, starting at 6:30 a.m. Re-hospitalization rates for post-heart attack patients participating in a cardiac rehab program are 25.3 percent lower than for those not participating. And outpatient cardiac rehab programs have been shown to decrease mortality by 30 percent compared to those patients who did not attend.

“Our staff works closely with the rehab patients on a daily basis,” said Sandy Dixon, manager of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. “We know each person by name and work together to help everyone achieve their goals.”

Hospital officials recognized Murgatroyd, Bird and other longtime rehab patients at the 23rd Annual 5K Rooney Heart Fun Run & Walk, held Sept. 20. The following individuals also have reached the 2,000 and 3,000-visit threshold:
•    Mike LaMontagna, 71, of Downers Grove: 3,000 visits; started in 1986
•    Harry Rohde, 80, of Western Springs: 2,000 visits; started in 1993

“We commend these patients for their perseverance and dedication,” said Dr. Paul D. Ryan, medical director of cardiology at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. “Committing to cardiac rehab three or four times a week for 15, 20 or 25 years is a remarkable achievement.”

About the Rooney Heart Center at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital:
For decades, the Rooney Heart Center, part of the Adventist Cardiovascular Network, has been a leader in cardiovascular health – bringing some of the region’s finest physicians, facilities and technology to four convenient locations in western Cook and DuPage counties. Adventist Cardiovascular Network is directly involved in bringing wellness screenings and prevention programs to the communities we serve. A team of more than 75 board-certified physicians with experience in a variety of cardiovascular specialties perform 300 open heart surgeries per year, including valve and beating heart surgery. In addition, the nursing staff specializes in cardiac care and provides a nurturing environment for patients to heal.

For more information, call 1-877-65 HEART (1-877-654-3278).