A Publication of WTVP

The Burklund Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center comes home.

Rehabilitation at the Burklund Center helps improve the health and quality of life of people with heart and lung disease. The exercise therapy program is individually tailored and everyone progresses at his or her own level. Education focuses on lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, weight loss/nutritional counseling, stress management and other modifications to help reduce cardiac or pulmonary symptoms. The goals of cardiac rehabilitation are to help patients regain strength, reduce the risk of future heart problems, and improve their overall health and quality of life.

Empowering Patients
UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor offers three phases of cardiopulmonary rehabilitation to benefit individuals with heart or breathing problems. Phase one begins within the hospital setting; a physician referral is required for phases two and three. The LiveWell Health and Exercise program (phase three) provides long-term maintenance and supervision of your heart and/or lung health through ongoing exercise and education.

“Education is extremely important—it helps empower patients,” says Audra Ulrich, RN. “Patients get an overwhelming amount of information during hospitalizations and from their primary care offices. Often, it’s done during stressful times. We are able to take the time to ensure they fully understand their medications, disease process and other topics of their health management.”

Norma Rieker has participated in the LiveWell Health and Exercise program for 22 years. She celebrated her 88th birthday in February. “I always feel great when I leave after working out,” Rieker says. “It’s family. You get close to everyone and that means a lot. It’s a special place. I’ve walked for exercise for years. It’s great to have a place to go to where I can walk indoors, and it’s safe and secure and you have friends here.”

“The LiveWell program has 120 participants; some are cardiac and some are pulmonary,” notes exercise specialist Tori Menke. “I love the new facility and being in the hospital environment. I am most proud when I see improvement in the strength of our patients after they’ve completed the workout program I’ve designed for them. We had a patient that came to us in a wheelchair because of his lung disability. With our help, he could walk and work out for 40 minutes straight. That’s what we love to see. That’s what we do.”

Building Relationships
Pulmonary rehabilitation is a comprehensive range of services designed for patients and their families by an interdisciplinary team of specialists. The central goal is achieving and maintaining a patient’s optimum level of independence and function. Pulmonary rehabilitation helps to reduce symptoms and disability, increase participation in physical and social activities, and improve the overall quality of life for patients with chronic respiratory disease.

“They have a wonderful staff,” says 78-year-old patient Sonja Karrihard. “They are extremely supportive and friendly and just super, super people.”

“What I love most about my work is establishing long-term relationships with our patients,” says Ulrich. “We see our patients two or three times a week, so we recognize when there may be a decline in their health. We contact their physician in hopes of preventing the need for emergency room visits and hospitalizations.”

“This program keeps me moving,” Karrihard adds. “Our goal is for me to ‘stay where I am’ physically active and not get worse. There’s a comradery among… all the patients here. It’s a lovely facility.”

A Homecoming
That facility is the new Burklund Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center, which opened in January 2016 in the heart of UnityPoint Health – Proctor. Peoria’s only certified cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program, it sports an atrium, walking track and all the latest and greatest equipment. There’s easy access from the lobby entrance at Proctor, and just a few feet away is the Emergency Department. The hospital’s gift shop, snack shop and cafeteria are also nearby.

“The UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor Foundation and the Proctor Service Auxiliary are proud to have helped support the relocation of the Burklund Cardiac Rehabilitation Center back to the heart of the hospital,” says Rob Parks, Foundation Vice President. “Through the years, Mr. Burklund has been a significant supporter of both organizations. Having the Center and all of its amazing, life-enhancing programs and people back at Proctor feels like a homecoming.” iBi