Helping heart patients recover close to home
Benefactors Jane and Bill O’Malley make Baptist Nassau’s new Cardiac Rehabilitation Center a local reality.
As a former registered nurse with five heart stents, Jane O’Malley understands the importance of rehabilitation after a heart issue. At 79, she also knows that making rehab accessible and convenient helps patients resume a normal, active lifestyle.
“When you’re recovering from heart surgery, the last thing you want to do is to drive a long way to get the rehabilitation services you need. It can be a scary time for some people, and you need all the support you can get,” she said.
O’Malley and her husband Bill were the lead donors for Baptist Nassau’s new Cardiac Rehabilitation Center, which was named in their honor today.
Before the Cardiac Center, recovering heart patients had to travel to Jacksonville to get the rehabilitation services they needed. The new center is on the main hospital campus in Medical Office Building B.
Along with cardiovascular and strength equipment, patients have access to physical, occupational and speech therapists. Physicians, dietitians, nurses and exercise physiologists work together to provide an individual treatment plan for each patient. The program lasts eight to 12 weeks, depending on the patient’s needs.
Patients work out in a group setting and encourage each other along the way. During each supervised session, patients’ heart rate, blood pressure and EKG are continuously monitored.
“Going through a formal rehab program like ours gives patients confidence as they transition from a serious illness to getting stronger and healthier,” said George Le-Bert, DO, a Baptist Nassau cardiologist. “Many patients are worried they may never return to their normal lives, but they can by going through a medically supervised program like ours.”
The O’Malleys have been generous benefactors of Baptist Nassau since 2002. “We hope this will help alleviate worries for heart patients so they can get on the road to recovery,” O’Malley said.
For more information, please call 904-321-3870.