Advances in cardiovascular care have come a long way, but to be most effective, new medications and procedures must be accompanied by a change in patient lifestyles.

That’s the impetus behind Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital’s new cardiac rehabilitation services.

Abrazo’s comprehensive program includes customized, medically supervised exercise training and heart-healthy education to patients with a variety of cardiovascular conditions. 

“Some patients are recovering from heart attacks, while others have congenital defects, cardiomyopathy, valve disorders and other conditions,” said Tammy Querrey, acute care nurse practitioner and director of the hospital’s Cardiovascular Centers of Excellence. 

Sessions vary in length of time and frequency depending on each patient’s unique needs. All sessions are supervised by a registered nurse and an exercise physiologist. 

During the first stage of the program, which could be three to six months, patients are connected to exercise machines to monitor their heart rate, blood pressure and other vital signs. Some patients who experience the benefits of cardiac rehab opt to continue with a maintenance program on a self-pay basis, Querrey said.

Clinical research has shown cardiac rehabilitation reduces mortality by more than 50 percent compared with those patients who do not participate, according to the American Heart Association. The AHA also notes that participation in cardiac rehab can reduce the likelihood of hospital readmissions by 25 percent.

“Cardiac rehabilitation is one of the most successful preventive measures and still one of the most underutilized services. Studies show that less than 20 percent of eligible patients participate in a program, said Dr. Timothy Byrne, an interventional cardiologist and physician executive director of cardiac services for Abrazo Community Health Network. 

“Not only do we want to educate our patients about the physical benefits of cardiac rehab, but the tremendous social benefits as well,” he added.

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is at the forefront of treating patients with complex cardiovascular conditions. The hospital is involved in national clinical trials on a variety of heart and cardiovascular conditions, and serves as a training ground for cardiologists throughout the country. In addition, Abrazo’s new Institute for Congestive Heart Failure recently opened to treat heart and kidney disease patient on an outpatient basis.

For more information, visit or call 844-813-5954.