As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions on group activities and physical contact have deferred access to many important services in our community. To prevent the complete closure of operations, many groups have dedicated time to move their services online.  

At Peace Arch Hospital, a new milestone was reached for Cardiac Rehabilitation Services; the first virtual supervised exercise class was provided via Zoom – a communications platform for video and audio conferencing, chat and webinars. Unlike many cardiac rehabilitation centres across Canada who have temporarily closed, Peace Arch Hospital and Fraser Health teams have joined forces to deliver this special model of care virtually.  

Traditionally, cardiac rehabilitation education and supervised exercise occurs in-person at four different centres within the Fraser Health region. “To my knowledge, this is the first virtual supervised cardiac rehabilitation exercise class of its kind provided by a Health Authority in BC,” says a member of the program.  

Cardiac Rehabilitation is used to aid in recovery from a cardiac event and improve quality of life for those suffering from chronic cardiac disease. In addition, published literature shows that cardiac rehabilitation is a safe and effective way to decrease premature mortality, decrease re-admission to acute care centres, and benefits the health care system.  

“Life is like a bicycle, to keep your balance, you have to keep moving. Cardiac rehabilitation is an important part of the post-event recovery journey for individuals with recently diagnosed cardiac disease. With endless benefits to quality of life, health, and wellness, the PAH cardiac rehabilitation team saw the need for the wheels to keep turning during COVID-19 and help the newly diagnosed Cardiac patient move (virtually) towards their goals.” – Clare Koning, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Cardiac Network  

Those who are frail, female, of socioeconomic disadvantage, socially isolated, or are dependent on others are at higher risk of rehospitalization. In this group, even the smallest lifestyle modification to physical ability can have great benefits to survival. 

Your doctor may prescribe Cardiac Rehabilitation if you have experienced:

“We are so very pleased in how the team has shifted to a virtual program during this pandemic to ensure newly diagnosed cardiac patients receive the care they require post cardiac event,” says Anita Ytsma, Clinical Operations Manager at Peace Arch Hospital. “Referral to the program is by physician referral for individuals who have a newly diagnosed cardiac event.”  

Physicians can download the referral form for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program HERE.