What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a physician-supervised program for people who have either congenital or acquired heart disease. Cardiac rehabilitation can often improve functional capacity, reduce symptoms, and create a sense of well-being for patients. A physician may prescribe cardiac rehabilitation for a patient in certain situations, including heart failure.

What conditions may benefit from cardiac rehabilitation?

 Conditions or cardiac procedures that might need cardiac rehabilitation may include:

  • Angina pectoris
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Post-open heart surgery
  • Post-heart transplantation
  • Balloon angioplasty
  • Stent placement
  • Pacemaker
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Rheumatic heart disease
  • Heart failure

Cardiac rehabilitation programs can be conducted while a person is a hospital inpatient or on an outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the cardiac rehabilitation team, including any of the following:

  • Cardiologist / cardiovascular surgeon
  • Internist
  • Rehabilitation nurse
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Dietitian and Nutritionist

Our cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to meet the needs of the individual patient, depending upon the specific heart problem or disease, and is supervised by a cardiac physician and a team of cardiac professionals. The program’s length may range from six weeks to a year or longer and will depend on your specific needs. The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to help patients reverse their symptoms and maximize cardiac function.

Cardiac rehabilitation includes, but is not limited to, the following activities:

  • Establishing a progressive exercise program to build fitness and functional capacity
  • Providing educational classes to help the patient change lifestyle habits as needed, such as smoking cessation or nutrition classes
  • Offering stress management techniques and anxiety reduction techniques
  • Counseling and educating the patient about his/ her specific heart condition/disease and the best management approach for that specific condition
  • Preparing the patient to return to work – equipping him/her to meet the physical and psychological demands of the job

Pulmonary Rehab

Pulmonary rehabilitation helps individuals with chronic lung disease to live well and manage symptoms. Parkwest Pulmonary Rehabilitation was one of the first programs to receive national certification by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for consistent clinical outcomes with lung patients.The nurses, respiratory therapist, exercise physiologists, dietitians, counselors, and pharmacists at Parkwest Pulmonary Rehabilitation work as a team with physicians to provide an intensive lifestyle modification approach for lung disease symptom management.
Individuals who have lung disease and are referred by their attending physician are eligible for the Phase II program. Phase II includes two sessions each week for 12-18 weeks. Each session lasts two hours, with one hour for medically supervised and monitored exercise and one for group education. Individual counseling home oxygen use, breathing retraining, stress management, home exercise, diet, and medications is also included

Referral Information

You or your doctor can contact us. A nurse case manager from the Parkwest Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation team will talk with you about your individual health goals when you enroll in the program. Most insurance companies cover cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services. Our nurse case managers will help with insurance approval and billing concerns. Our nurse case managers will also send reports to your referring doctor and your family doctor at the end of the program. Call to schedule an intake appointment.


Individuals are eligible for the Parkwest Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program if they have heart or lung disease and are referred by their attending physician.


Parkwest Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation is located in Suite 205 of Medical Office Building 2, at the Fort Sanders West campus on Kingston Pike, just west of Pellissippi Parkway.

Call 1-800-556-3404 if you live outside Knox County and need information about cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs in your community.