The Cardiac Rehab team at Advocate Trinity Hospital creates such a nurturing environment that patients continue to come back for decades to actively participate in maintaining their health. This team continually goes above and beyond for their patients. This begins at the start for all patients during the initial orientation visit. The staff takes additional time to walk patients through the entire process and even make calls to doctors, insurers, and nurses to ensure that the patient does not encounter any potential issues during their entire rehabilitation phase. The cardiac rehabilitation team treats every patient as if they were family and takes every opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and encourage each other even if it’s not related to therapy. Every year, the team coordinates and hosts a holiday party for all their patients to show that they are more than patients and connect with them in other aspects of their lives. This past year’s function had an attendance of over 50 patients who took time out of their schedule to celebrate the year's accomplishments with the Rehab team and with each other.
The environment that is fostered and the care they provide for everybody has also been mirrored by the patients. A group of over ten members has formed a post-rehab session group, affectionately called “The Coffee Club,” where they encourage and take the time to talk with others and connect through the power of healing and healthy living. During discussions with the members of The Coffee Club, with some members consistently returning since 2002, they have attributed their continued health and positive outcomes to the cardiac rehab center, but mainly to the staff within the walls. It is not uncommon to hear patients stating that they ‘didn’t think they would make it through their entire rehabilitation program if it wasn’t for the team’ or that ‘the reason they keep coming back year after year is because of Yvonne and her team’. Similar sentiments are voiced by others and the care and compassion the team shows are identified as the main reasons patients continue to show up for therapy. Up to three times a week, regardless of how sore they may be or the weather outside, they are motivated to walk through the doors of Trinity’s Cardiac Rehab department because they know that Yvonne, Jumoke, and Keara are there to meet them.
This team’s passion for what they do and the love they have for others is evident in the many lives that they have touched. This is a letter from a patient:
“I just completed my cardiac rehabilitation last Wednesday, and I want to compliment your staff for their service. They were attentive to my needs and level of care I needed. They challenged me to try things that I haven't done previously like the elliptical machine and adding incline to my treadmill exercise. They were attentive to monitoring my heart rate and making adjustments to the monitor as needed. One thing they asked me about was how much water I drank and it made me focus on increasing my intake. Another important thing that we discussed was establishing the range of my heart rate during a workout; I had no idea what it should be.
The atmosphere in the gym was always light and cheerful. Fellow patients were always speaking with each other and encouraging each other. This is something that happens when the staff makes patients feel at home and is a compliment to the staff. Please extend my thanks to the staff for my great experience.”