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Northern Hospital Opens New Cardiac Rehab Program

Northern Hospital of Surry County has partnered with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to offer cardiac rehabilitation service to local patients. The Medical Center started the first cardiac rehabilitation program in the state.

“As one of the longest-standing cardiac rehabilitation programs, our team of experts has helped thousands of patients recover from heart attack, heart surgery and heart failure,” said David Zhao, M.D., chief of cardiovascular medicine and executive director of Wake Forest Baptist’s Heart and Vascular Center. “We offer outpatient rehabilitation programs designed to help you improve your daily life and maintain your independence, and we are thankful for the partnership with Northern Hospital to offer this level of service to their community.”

Earlier this month the first patients were admitted to the Northern Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

“We are excited to utilize the expertise of Wake Forest Baptist in getting our program at Northern up and running,” said Brian Beasley, vice president of clinic operations, Northern Hospital. “Numerous residents of Mount Airy and surrounding communities are already traveling to Winston-Salem for their cardiac rehab services, and these patients can now be served right here at home.”

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program of exercise, education, counseling and learning designed to help people with heart disease make needed changes for a healthier lifestyle. Participating in a cardiac rehab program allows for quicker recovery from heart attack, heart-related surgery or other heart disease. The ultimate goal is to enable patients with cardiac disorders to resume active and productive lives.

Patients enrolled in cardiac rehab typically attend the program two to three times a week.

“For local residents, a 60-mile round trip taken several times a week is time consuming, tiring, and expensive,” the two hospitals said in a joint statement released last week. “All of these factors can result in some patients failing to finish their prescribed treatment plan. Local residents may now come to Northern where they are closer to home and more easily able to see their program to completion.”

Before the doors officially opened at the beginning of May, more than 20 referrals had already been received from cardiologists throughout the region including offices in Mount Airy and Winston-Salem; with more referrals arriving daily.

Northern Hospital Foundation applied for a grant to receive the initial funds needed for construction of the new cardiac rehabilitation department. The hospital was generously awarded $250,000 from The Duke Endowment.

Northern Hospital will host an open house and ribbon cutting on Friday, May 19th at 3 p.m. Cardiac Rehabilitation is located on the third floor at Northern Hospital. For more information on the program, call 336-783-8448 or visit

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