National Certification Presented to Highpoint Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Department

Highpoint Health is proud to announce that its Outpatient (Phase II) Cardiac Rehabilitation Program has been awarded a national certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Each program’s application is reviewed by the AACVPR National Certification Committee before certification is awarded by its Board of Directors.  The certification is valid for three years and the facility must continue to maintain its strict standards and practices in the field.  After three years, the hospital will apply for recertification.

“This certification is new to Highpoint Health,” noted Angie Johnson, RN, BSN, Highpoint Health Director of Cardiac and Pulmonary Services.  “The Cardiac Rehabilitation Department has been working since 2016 on a total revision of its rehab program including its practices and data collection.

“To obtain this certification, we tracked all of our data and outcomes for 2017.  We then submitted this data, along with the documentation on our current practices, educational seminars, staff competencies, and emergency management and staff training sessions,” she explained.

“After some small adjustments in documentation that the AACVPR requested, the organization notified us that our submission had been approved,” Ms. Johnson added.  “The Highpoint Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is now listed on the AACVPR website as being certified and our AACVPR Certificate is displayed in our department.  This recognition demonstrates that we provide high quality rehabilitation services while promoting best practices and meeting exceptional standards of care.”

“The work performed each day by the Highpoint Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Department is exemplary,” stated Cardiologist Ashok Penmetsa, M.D.  “As the Medical Director of the department, I see firsthand how the staff interacts with each patient on a personal level to help them build their endurance levels while making them feel comfortable and confident of their abilities.

“Numerous studies have shown that Cardiac Rehabilitation reduces future morbidity and mortality in patients who have had a heart attack/myocardial infarction, stent placement, and/or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) and/or those diagnosed with heart failure,” continued Dr. Penmetsa.  “By working in concert with the patient and their Cardiologist, the Cardiac Rehabilitation staff is able to help the patient reach their full recovery potential.”

Highpoint Health has provided cardiac rehabilitation services since 1996.  Ms. Johnson, who has worked in the Cardiac Department since 2003, oversees a staff of seven registered nurses and additional cardiopulmonary employees.  Cardiac Rehabilitation averages between 75 and 100 new patients annually with most patients receiving treatment for an average of three months.

The department participates in many hospital and community events.  Its largest community project occurs each September when the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Departments jointly present the annual 5K Heart & Lung Health Run/Walk.  The two departments also participate in promoting health and wellness at the hospital’s health fairs, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the Highpoint Health Physical Therapy Department’s Sports Physicals for Teens and numerous other community events.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help those with cardiovascular problems, including heart attack and coronary artery bypass graft surgery, and pulmonary problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory symptoms, recover faster and improve their quality of life.  Programs include exercise, education, counseling and support of patients and their families.

Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the mission of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management.  Central to the core mission is improvement in quality of life for patients and their families.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Department receives award
Angie Johnson, RN, BSN, Highpoint Health Director of Cardiac and Pulmonary Services (lower right), displays the certification the Cardiac Rehabilitation Department received from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.  Her team consists of Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation Nurses (left to right) Nancy Wuestefeld, RN; Connie Rohrig, RN; Brandy Miller, RN, BSN; Darla Koons, RN, BSN; and Jerri Rollins, RN, MSN.  Not shown are Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation Nurses Barb Harrell, RN; and recently retired, Linda Allhands, RN.


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