Mercy Hospital Washington opened its newly renovated and expanded cardiopulmonary rehabilitation clinic. From left are Mercy therapist Jackie Daugherty, RN, working with patients Don Crowe and Audrey Holland in the new space.     Submitted Photo.

After many years of working out in a cramped space, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation therapy patients are enjoying a bigger and better space at Mercy Medical Building North in Washington.

The new space is bigger, brighter, more comfortable and more welcoming, officials said.

“I love it. It’s much better,” said Don Crowe, who started using the service after a cardiac arrest in 2006. “I love the new room, the new equipment. I haven’t had to wait for a machine.”

The new space opened to patients June 5. It features new monitoring equipment, eight new cardiac machines including elliptical and arm bicycles, a walking track and areas for private evaluations and patient education.

Cardiac rehab serves heart and lung patients. Patients typically enter a program with therapist in the weeks after a heart attack or after heart or lung surgery. Physicians also refer patients there who need help building heart and lung tissue in a safe environment.

“People with heart and lung problems benefit from supervised rehabilitation therapy,” said Mercy Cardiologist Joseph Polizzi, MD. “After a heart attack, they’re often fearful of overdoing activities but exercise is something they need to do to improve their health. Here, they can gradually build up their endurance in a medically supervised environment.”


Jackie Daugherty, RN, has worked in the department for 20 years. She said, “A lot of people come in with the desire but a lot of fear. They’ve just been through a traumatic event and they don’t trust their bodies. We help them break through that fear so they can reclaim their confidence and their strength.”

In 2008, physicians discovered Audrey Holland had a blocked artery. She received a stent and started coming to rehab to build heart muscle. She continues coming because the staff and other patients motivate her.

“If I had to do it on my own, I wouldn’t do it. Here, we all have the same health problems and we get to know each other really well,” Holland said. She considers the new space a nicer place to work out. “It’s so much nicer,” she said. “We’re all enjoying it.”

As Mercy has added more cardiology and pulmonary physicians and services to the area, the department has seen a dramatic increase in patients who need therapy. The new space accommodates more patients. It also offers a better-designed environment for new and current services.

The clinic is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. For more information about Mercy Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, people may call 636-239-8852, or ask your physician for a referral.