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 April 26, 2005
New Cardiac Fitness Center at Miriam
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Center for Cardiac Fitness
Miriam Hospital

The new Center for Cardiac Fitness rivals a pro football training facility.  The staff appearas more focused than personal trainers but these aren't Olympic athletes.  They're average people working hard to get their lives back in shape.

"This is the best thing I ever did," says Bob Quattrucci.  He had his first heart attack five years ago. He made it through but found himself back in the hospital just a few years later after another heart attack. This time around Bob joined the Miriam Hospital's cardiac rehab program and finds this new facility is getting him back on track.

Bob says, "When I first came here, on the treadmill, I couldn't last five minutes. Now I do 20."

The new center, located near Miriam Hospital, offers a 12-week rehabilition program. The program involves a multi-faceted approach, involving nutritionists, behavior therapists, exercise physiologists and nurses. Through it all medical director Peter Tilkmeier, along with his staff, are constantly monitoring each person.

Dr. Tilkmeier says, "The biggest benefit we see is the reduction in future cardiac events.  Most patients can do an exercise program at home. They can learn to eat right by going to some classes but the whole multi-factorial approach can not happen at home or in a one on one program. It happens in large programs, such as this."

Dr. Tilkmeier says people who participate in cardiac rehab programs can reduce their risk of future cardiac events by 25-30%, but for people like Madeline O'Connell, it's also about feeling better ery day,  "I'm hoping to be able to do more things than I can do right now."

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