St. Joseph's offering free cardiac exercise rehabilitation progr - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

St. Joseph's offering free cardiac exercise rehabilitation program for CHF patients

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WARREN, Ohio - More than 30 congestive heart failure patients could benefit from a new program a St. Joseph's Hospital in Warren.

It is aimed at educating patients about their condition, while helping them improve their physical health.

It wasn't all that long ago when Warren resident Jackie Jones struggled to stand up, let alone clean up her house.

"Anything I did I couldn't barely move without gasping," Jones said.

Jones' sister forced her to see a doctor. It turned out that she had congestive heart failure, a condition where the heart doesn't pump as it should.

"I think it snuck up on me because, like I said, I made excuses for it, you know, because of my weight," Jones said.

Between rehabilitation and stays at the hospital, Jones has been learning how to live with the disease.

Most recently, her doctors referred her to a new four-month exercise rehabilitation program funded by the Humility of Mary Health Partners Foundation. Two days a week, she visits the cardiac rehab unit at St. Joseph where she logs anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes of exercise.

"Exercise improves heart function. So it allows them to build up their stamina and endurance. It allows for better blood flow. It gives them better energy so they can do their acts of daily living through the day," said St. Joseph's Exercise Physiologist Joanne Delaquila.

Something Jackie will never take for granted.

"Sometimes there are times when I don't feel like going, but I know it helps me. So, I go. That is the important part. You have to push through," Jones said.

Participants must be referred by their physicians and first undergo an assessment at the CHF clinic at St. Joseph's before beginning the exercise program.

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