Yakima Regional's Cardiac Rehab Program Becomes Accredited - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Regional's Cardiac Rehab Program Becomes Accredited

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YAKIMA--Yakima Regional's Cardiac Rehab Center has earned accredation from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.  Yakima Regional is the first hospital in the area with a certified cardiac rehab program.  The program's directors thought the recognition would help their reputation.

"It validates what we were already doing," Brian Weihs said.  Weihs works with the cardiac rehab center in his role as Director of Respiratory Care.  "We were already at the standards that the association puts in place."

The guidelines for certification are pretty strict.   Keeping up with new trends and proving the program helps its clients are crucial.

"We are always inserting new concepts of nutrition into the education program," Theresa Roberts, RD, said.

"You have to validate that you're having a measurable positive impact on people's lives," Brian Cole, an Exercise Specialist said."

Rehab patients wear heart monitors that electronically track them as they work out, giving patients and caregivers up-to-the-second heart rate updates.  Staff members say they have not had to change much, if anything, to get certified.   But they hope the approval of an outside body gives potential patients faith in the program.

"Not only can you come here as a patient in the community for you acute episode and get the care that's absolutely critical to saving your life, but this program helps you get your life back," Weihs said.