Each year, nationally attention is brought to the issue of heart health through a Wear Red Day campaign. Locally, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital staff and patients gather for a photo of crimson to support that awareness.
A new fundraising project has begun in the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation unit of Hugh Chatham called the Heart and Soul Tree.
As the staff and patients celebrate National Heart Disease Awareness Month and National Cardiac Rehab Week this month, they have turned a focus on the importance of awareness and prevention. Then during March, the groups will celebrate National Pulmonary Rehab Week to highlight the affects of chronic lung diseases such as COPD and lung cancer.
The tree has been placed on the wall of the hallway as people enter the cardiac rehab gym of the hospital, and already it has several names on hearts and birds of those being memorialized or honored as they have affected by heart or lung disease.
“Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help patients learn how to live with chronic heart and lung disease,” stated a letter to friends of the hospital. “Our programs focus on disease management, exercise training, lifestyle modification, proper nutrition and stress reduction. Our staff features healthcare professionals with extensive cardiac and pulmonary experience who provide the highest quality of service to patients in our region.
“Patients who participate in programs like cardiac and pulmonary rehab are able to improve their heart and lung function and maintain a healthier lifestyle,” the letter continued. “They exercise in group settings allowing for emotional support and socialization with others who have similar health conditions.”
Patients in Hugh Chatham’s program exercise in the rehab gym two to three times a week, and their blood pressure, heart rate, weight and oxygen are monitored at every visit.
“We also address their overall health status and are able to intervene early when they start showing signs and symptoms of complications,” said the letter.
In February and March, the rehabilitation team is accepting donations to help grow its Step-by-Step fund, which provides cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services for those patients who cannot afford to attend due to lack of insurance or financial difficulty.
Each donation allows the name of a person to be honored or memorialized to be placed on the Heart and Soul Tree in the rehab area.
For more information or to make a donation, those interested can visit the hospital’s rehab gym or call 336-527-8415.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.