Skip Navigation

Pulmonary rehabilitation receives AACVPR accreditation

Health, Wellness & You
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fort HealthCare is pleased to announce that it has been granted a consecutive three-year accreditation through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This certification demonstrates Fort HealthCare’s commitment to meet exceptional standards of patient care within its pulmonary rehab program. Certified programs demonstrate the ability to improve standards of care and meet essential national standards.

senior woman on a treadmill doing pulmoary rehabAACVPR certification is the only peer-reviewed accreditation process designed to review individual pulmonary rehab programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed by the AACVPR and other related professional societies. As part of the accrediting process, programs must submit documentation, including patient and program outcomes, as well as follow-up outcomes after discharge. This means that positive patient outcomes are required for certification.

The accreditation process encourages cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs to employ the highest standard of practice. Participation requires a multidisciplinary program that addresses many patient needs affecting their pulmonary condition such as nutritional, psychosocial, physical and educational needs.

Fort HealthCare’s program is setup in three distinct phases: Phase I begins while the patient is at the hospital. It prepares patients for discharge by slowly progressing activity level from passive to active exercise and focuses on activities of daily life. Phase II begins at discharge with a physician referral. The program is by prescription, specifically designed to help progression to cardiovascular fitness. Exercise sessions take place in the Cardiac Wellness Center located on the first floor of Fort Memorial Hospital. Phase III is the maintenance exercise program portion of both cardiac and pulmonary rehab.

Rod Powers, Phase III patient and Fort Atkinson resident, says, “This is a very worthwhile program that has helped me understand my disease and better manage it. I’ve regained my strength and endurance by working smarter, not harder.”

“When I was admitted to the hospital in 2002, I was placed on a respirator and in the hospital for six days. At discharge I was placed into Phase II and then graduated to Phase III where I’ve happily been for the past nine years,“ added Corky Hulstein of Fort Atkinson.

“One of the best things about pulmonary rehab is meeting and sharing with others who have similar problems,” said Powers.

As an AACVPR-accredited facility, Fort HealthCare has undergone this rigorous review process repeatedly and has been consistently successful in obtaining the recognition. “Fort HealthCare is honored to again receive this accreditation. It shows our commitment to a strong rehabilitation program that requires physicians and staff to perform at a high level,” said Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien, coordinator of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. “Our patients can be assured that they are receiving specialized, comprehensive care which is recognized at a national level.”

For more information about Fort HealthCare’s cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program, visit