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Pictured in the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department at Carilion New River Valley Center are staff members Holly Neel (seated), Marsha Runyon (standing, from left), Teressa Hurst, Andrew Mason, Renee Gerow, Dr. John Leslie, Susan Harris and Amanda Childress.

Carilion New River Valley Medical Center has been awarded Pulmonary Rehabilitation Certification and Cardiac Rehab Re-certification from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

The Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department located at the Carilion New River Valley Center is staffed by Exercise Physiologist Andrew Mason; Renee Gerow, RN; Teressa Hurst, RN; Amanda Childress, RN; Marsha Runyon, RN; and Susan Harris, RN. Holly Neel is the Director of Rehabilitation and Dr. John W. Leslie Jr., MD, is the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Medical Director. Dr. Dhun Sethna is the Cardiac Rehabilitation Medical Director.

The department provides structured rehabilitation programs for individuals recovering from cardiac and pulmonary events including COPD, heart attacks, bypass surgery and heart/lung transplants. It features a walking track, multiple treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, weight machines, free weights and Nu-Step machines. Patients are closely monitored during their sessions which are individually designed based on age and physical activity potential.

A typical monitored session begins with weighing in, attaching a heart monitor, reviewing previous session data to set goals for the current session, blood pressure checks before, during and after exercising, and personal monitoring by staff. Patient progress is reviewed by the hospital’s medical directors at 30-day intervals.

The AACVPR Certification is the only accreditation using peer-review of facilities that adhere to standards and guidelines developed and published by the AACVPR.

It takes up to a year to receive AACVPR Pulmonary Certification, and is the best guarantee patients will receive state-of-the-art care. Certification requires review of individual treatment plans for patients, specialized staff education and review of facilities.

Submitted by Renee Gerow

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