Cardiac Rehabilitation

Contact Us

Talk to your doctor to see if cardiac rehabilitation is right for you.

For questions or more information call 814-467-3892.

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation combines exercise training, proper nutrition, and education to help those with heart conditions. It helps to speed recovery and strengthens the heart while lowering risk factors for heart disease.


An individualized exercise program is designed for each cardiac patient by exercise physiologists and is physician approved. The goal of exercise sessions is improving heart function, circulation, and overall strength to reduce risk factors for heart disease.


A healthy diet is critical to maintaining heart health. Poor nutrition is one of the leading causes of heart disease – particularly with regard to the consumption of transfats and saturated fats and the dangers of being overweight or obese. For that reason, our Cardiac Rehabilitation program includes consultations with a registered dietician who can help patients change both their appetite and attitude toward food.


The goal of cardiac rehab is not simply to help patients recover from heart-related medical procedures but to ensure that their hearts stay healthy over the long term. It is extremely important that patients continue to use the information and strategies they learn in the rehabilitation program long after they have completed it.

Who is eligible for cardiac rehabilitation?

Anyone who is under the care of a physician or cardiologist and has been diagnosed with heart-related health problems, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Balloon angioplasty (PCI)
  • Stent placement
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Current stable angina

How long is the program and what does it involve?

Sessions at Windber Medical Centers are held three days a week for one hour and treatment typically lasts 12 weeks. Sessions are designed to challenge each person to work within their abilities, as well as to enable each person to recognize their limitations. Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitoring of the heart and blood pressure readings are taken throughout the therapy session. Types of equipment used during exercise include treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines and upper body ergometers.

What are the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation?

Scientific studies have shown that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program can increase their life expectancy by up to five years. The following are supported by evidence-based clinical studies:

  • Control or reduce heart disease symptoms (chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue)
  • Stop or reverse damage to your blood vessels in your heart
  • Improve confidence and quality of life
  • Lessen the emotional effects of heart disease (anxiety and/or depression)
  • Improve stamina and strength to perform activities of daily living
  • Reduce hospitalizations and use of medical resources

Who will work with me?

A committed team of caring and compassionate healthcare specialists working under the direction of a medical director oversee the program tailored to your physical and emotional needs. The team may include:

  • Physicians
  • Cardiac nurses
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Dietitians


Angie Rokita, BS, ASCM, EPSupervisor

Miranda Cunningham, RN, BSNCardiac Rehabilitation/Care Coordinator RN

Matt BrehmExercise Physiologist

Lori Cover, CMESExercise Physiologist, Certifed Medical Exercise Specialist