Cardiac Rehabilitation

Physician-supervised program

Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is a comprehensive, physician-supervised program for patients with specific cardiac conditions. Our program helps patients recover more fully, prevent further cardiac disease, and in many cases, enjoy an improved quality of life. Research has shown that participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program reduces risk for future cardiovascular events and re-hospitalization. Our program is part of a long-standing collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital and Salem Hospital.

Pictured: Patients exercise in our new gym on the Salem campus.

Eligible for patients who have had:

  • Angina
  • Angioplasty
  • Coronary artery bypass graft surgery
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Heart transplant
  • Heart/lung transplant
  • Stent placement
  • Valve repair or replacement

Our staff

  • Lawrence S. Block, M.D., Medical Director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, has extensive expertise in cardiac rehabilitation and cardiac risk factor modification. 
  • Lynn Gatti Walton, RN, BSN, cardiac nurse, serves as the Program Director. 
  • We also have specially trained cardiac nurses, exercise physiologists, clinical counselors and registered dietitians. 
  • Our team offers tools, lifestyle information and opportunities for patients to actively participate in the healing and recovery process with the goal of improving their overall health and quality of life.

Physician referral required:

Physicians in the Mass General Brigham system may enter a referral into EPIC for a patient to attend our program. If you do not use EPIC, contact our office at 978.354.2994 for the referral form.

Program overview

New patients are encouraged to attend one of our weekly orientation sessions and tour our facility. We present an overview of our program and there is also a discussion session with a patient graduate of our program giving his perspective on the value of the program for long-term health. Program components include:

Education:

  • Education topics include heart conditions, risk factors for cardiovascular disease,treatment and prevention of further complications from cardiovascular disease, stress management and behavior change strategies.

Exercise:

  • Under the direct supervision of the program medical director, an exercise physiologist and cardiac rehabilitation nurse design a personalized program of cardiovascular exercise and muscle conditioning for each patient. Patients' safety and comfort level are closely monitored throughout the session, which includes a cardiovascular aerobic workout, high intensity interval training, strength training and flexibility segments.

Nutrition:

  • Our dietitian reviews patients' eating habits and teaches them enjoyable ways to incorporate heart-healthy foods. A variety of heart-healthy nutrition topics are incorporated into this series.

Stress Management:

  • Our clinicians help patients identify their stress patterns and assist them in developing strategies for reducing stress and supporting behavioral change.

Cardiac rehabilitation sessions

Most participants complete the program within 12 weeks, although the duration of the program varies according to your goals, your medical condition and your insurance coverage. Classes are available to accommodate most schedules. Most participants attend cardiac rehabilitation sessions three times per week which include exercise and a stress management session or a heart health education class. Your personalized program complements the medical and or surgical treatment plan outlined by your physician(s).

Insurance coverage

Most insurance plans cover the cost of our program when you have a qualifying diagnosis. Please check with your insurer regarding coverage for this and to find out if a co-pay or deductible is required.