In 2001, funding from the Ministry of Health, allowed London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) to trial a pilot project to bring Cardiac Rehab to Owen Sound. A partnership was formed with the YMCA of Owen Sound Grey Bruce and with the support of three physicians, Dr. Jack Ostrander, Dr. Bruce Stanners and Dr. Brendan Mulroy the Owen Sound Cardiac Rehab began at the old YMCA.
Over the years the program has grown, from 50 participants in the initial years to close to 150 participants today, taking part in either the facility-based program or the home-based program. In 2012, the Cardiac program moved into its own office in the heart of the fitness centre on the second level of the brand new YMCA in the Julie McArthur Recreational Centre. A special thanks goes to Gayle Graham, the now retired CEO of the YMCA, who supported both the initial development of the program and the development of space in the new Y.
From the program’s beginning, the exercise component has always been supervised by an exercise specialist at the YMCA. A special shout out to Michael Baerg and Brandon Downing for their ongoing support. The participant’s medical assessment and ongoing monitoring is thanks to the program’s medical director, Dr. Brian O’Doherty, and RN, Rhonda McAfee, an employee of GBHS. Crystal Kingshott, the program’s Administrative Assistant, keeps track of every referral, with over 300 referrals from family physicians and specialists each year!
But it is the participants who make Cardiac Rehab more than just “a program”.
I was in shock after my heart attack, thought I was healthy. I probably wouldn’t be around if I had not taken the classes, I started walking almost every day and started eating more salads and less potatoes.Participant – 84 years young!