TROY — Premier Health’s Upper Valley Medical Center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for its cardiopulmonary rehabilitation expansion.
The 7,600-square-foot addition on the south side of the hospital, located at 3130 N. County Road 25-A, will provide expansion of the cardiac and pulmonary rehab program, as well as an employee wellness area. The addition is part of the UVMC Patient Flow Project, which will provide greater ease of access and convenience for patients and visitors.
Several hospital staff members, doctors, project organizers, cardio patients, and outside guests were in attendance on Wednesday.
The ceremony began with a brief memorial, led by Chaplain Lisa Baker, in honor of the mass shooting that took place in Dayton over the weekend.
“There is a dual nature in life that there is no escaping,” Baker said. “We have lamentation and joy in the same breath, and as we gather this morning, we are celebrating groundbreaking, but we are also very mindful that there are those in our community who are breaking ground to bury their loves ones.”
Baker guided the crowd into a moment of silence for the victims of the weekend’s carnage before ending with a prayer.
Upper Valley Medical Center President Tom Parker gave remarks regarding the medical center’s expansion project.
“Today’s a culmination of a lot of work and planning that began multiple years ago,” Parker said. “Upper Valley Medical Center has always been dedicated to investing in new technologies, innovations, and services to improve patient care, safety, and access for our patients.
“(The cardiopulmonary rehab) program at UVMC has grown significantly over the years,” he continued. ‘This well-deserved expansion will help us address the growing need for these services and make this much-needed specialized care available and more accessible here in our community.”
Attendees also heard from UVMC Board of Directors Chair Steve Staley.
“UVMC and Premier Health are guided by their mission to improve the health of the communities they serve, and this expansion is an important step toward meeting the growing needs of patients in our area,” he said.
Cardiologist Aaron Kaibas noted that cardiopulmonary rehab is essential for patients who have experienced a heart attack or who are living with heart disease, adding that the hospital’s program improves the quality of life for those affected by these conditions.
“The cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program at UVMC helps patients return to healthy, active lifestyles,” Kaibas said. “The enhanced accessibility and convenience for patients that this expansion will provide will help make this great program even greater.”
Pulmonologist and critical care physician Jennifer Clune added that UVMC’s program helps strengthen the hearts and lungs of patients, which in turn aids in restoring physical function, often proving to be more beneficial than medication.
“In this day and age, it’s no secret that movement and exercise are critical components of a healthy life,” she said. “Increasingly sedentary lifestyle leads to changes in muscle, which makes the muscle less efficient in using oxygen, makes the patient more breathless, and increased breathlessness leads to a downward spiral of increasingly sedentary lifestyle.”
Clune said the benefits of pulmonary rehab include less breathlessness, increased functional capacity, improved quality of life, and potentially less risk for illness or hospitalization.
Parker added that UVMC has plans for additional improvements and enhancements to the facility over the next year.
“In what we’re calling our patient flow project, we’ll reconfigure and update the main lobby and registration areas to provide improved comfort, convenience, ease of access, safety, and confidentiality for our patients and visitors,” he said.
The cardiopulmonary rehab addition and patient flow project are projected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.
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