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2006 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Cardiac Rehabilitation Receives Third Consecutive National Recertification

Helping Patients Improve Health and Quality of Life After Heart Disease

CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 9, 2006) - Morton Plant Mease has again received national certification in cardiac rehabilitation from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

The AACVPR requires programs to reapply for recertification every three years, and the Morton Plant Mease cardiac rehabilitation program has passed the intensive recertification review three consecutive times since the AACVPR began offering the certification in 1996.

Only 29 cardiac rehabilitation programs in Florida are currently certified by the AACVPR for consistently meeting the highest level of criteria for excellent cardiac rehabilitation care. To receive certification, programs are rigorously reviewed by a national board and found to meet the essential requirements for standards of care.

"This recertification assures patients they are receiving the most extensive and effective cardiac rehabilitation care available," said Philip K. Beauchamp, chief executive officer and president of Morton Plant Mease. "Our cardiac rehabilitation program is an excellent example of our continuing commitment to providing comprehensive cardiac care."

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the No. 1 killer of women. It accounts for 50 percent of deaths each year and affects 13.5 million Americans. About 1.5 million people have heart attacks each year, and 500,000 people die. Of those 1.5 million people, 45 percent are under the age of 65 and in the most productive phase of their lives.

In 2005, more than 800 patients participated in the Morton Plant Mease cardiac rehabilitation program to regain energy, reduce stress and make lifestyle changes essential to controlling heart disease. The comprehensive program provides:

* Personalized, medically-appropriate exercise prescriptions

* ECG-monitored exercise sessions supervised by registered nurses and exercise physiologists

* One-on-one sessions with a registered dietitian

* Stress management education with a licensed clinical social worker

* Assistance and education regarding smoking cessation, weight loss and diabetes

* State-of-the-art facilities with an atmosphere that is positive and enjoyable

Open to patients with a heart condition or who are recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, the cardiac rehabilitation program can significantly improve health and overall quality of life by:

* Improving functional abilities

* Reducing related health risks

* Improving compliance with a medical regimen

* Improving metabolic profile

* Increasing awareness of the disease process and prevention strategies

Another benefit of cardiac rehabilitation is the identification of potential complications related to cardiovascular disease including angina, blood glucose abnormalities, blood pressure problems and rhythm abnormalities.

Medicare-accepted criteria for cardiac rehabilitation include myocardial infarction, bypass surgery and stable angina. Any physician can refer a patient for cardiac rehabilitation at Morton Plant Mease by calling (727) 461-8295. Cardiac rehabilitation programs are offered at Morton Plant Hospital's Cheek-Powell Heart and Vascular Pavilion in Clearwater and at Mease Countryside Hospital's Medical Arts Building in Safety Harbor.

The AACVPR is a national, multidisciplinary association dedicated to the improvement of clinical practice, promotion of scientific inquiry and advancement of education for the benefit of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation professionals and the patients they serve.

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals - Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Amy Morrow 727/461-8538 (phone), 727/468-7586 (pager)