WDHB's cardiac rehabilitation service moves

From left to right: Josephite Retreat Centre coordinator Pam Hopper, WDHB cardiac nurse specialist Paul Boden and retired Whanganui Cardiac Support Group chair Christine Jones.

13 March 2013

Whanganui District Health Board’s (WDHB) Cardiac Rehabilitation Service has moved its twice weekly classes from a busy city gym to the Josephite Retreat Centre.

Aware of the need to find a relaxing environment for their patients, WDHB cardiac nurse specialist Paul Boden and cardiac rehabilitation nurse Mary Crawford are delighted with the new venue and hope the move will be the start of a long-term arrangement with the St Joseph’s sisters.“The St Joseph’s sisters promote the retreat as a wellness centre and that fits well with everyone involved in our cardiac rehabilitation programme,” Mr Boden says.
“Cardiac patients want to feel comfortable, well supported, able to enjoy a full life and able to participate in the community as they did prior to developing their cardiac condition.
 “Rehabilitation is all about helping people understand their condition and empowering them to manage it now and into the future. Attending classes where you can meet others who’ve experienced cardiac events is a valuable part of that process.”
Mr Boden says a cardiac nurse and healthcare professionals including a physiotherapist, dietician, occupational therapist, social worker and doctors discuss a range of topics in the classes.
Healthy eating, medications and their side effects, exercise and other factors important for heart health are all covered.
Mr Boden says one of the Josephite Retreat Centre’s key attractions is the space it offers for a small exercise area. The New Zealand Heart Foundation considers it mandatory that exercise is offered at cardiac rehabilitation classes.
A generous $700 donation from former Whanganui Cardiac Support Group organisers Christine and John Rocke has enabled the rehabilitation service to purchase an exercise bike, mini weights, Swiss Balls and mini trampolines which they store at the retreat.
To attend the cardiac rehabilitation classes requires a referral from a doctor or practice nurse.