Patient participating in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation exercise on anti-gravity treadmill

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

A Personal Approach to Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab

The cardiopulmonary team uses a “patient first” philosophy when designing an individualized treatment plan to meet each patient’s specific needs and goals. Skilled physical and occupational therapists,  nurses, and medical providers work collaboratively to ensure that medical, physical, and emotional needs are addressed during recovery from an acute cardiac or pulmonary illness or surgery.

Working together toward the patient’s goals, the team also includes a case manager, respiratory therapist, dietician, and a licensed mental health counselor. They frequently call upon other committed professionals, such as mental health professionals, speech therapists, exercise physiologists, and members of our talented medical staff.

The team encourages collaboration with the patient and their family and invites the patient’s family to participate in the rehabilitation process through frequent visits and patient/family training. The overall goal is for our patients to have a safe discharge plan.

Program Admissions

There are many conditions that bring patients to Helen Hayes Hospital for inpatient cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, but generally it is following a heart attack, cardiac or lung surgery, or after a complicated hospitalization for heart disease or lung diseases such as emphysema or COPD. Located in New York’s Hudson Valley, the program serves patients from throughout the New York Metropolitan region, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Customized Treatment Plan

The goals of the inpatient Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program are tailored to meet the specific needs of each patient. Individual goals may include stabilization of cardiac or pulmonary symptoms, medication and oxygen management, independence in self-care at home, improved ability to safely walk at home and in the community, and the ability to perform a home exercise program and attend an outpatient cardio exercise program, and/or return to work. Patient and family education about risk factor reduction, nutrition, and medication management are also important components of the program. Our case manager works closely with the patient and family to assure that care is coordinated and that post discharge services are appropriate.

After discharge, patients are encouraged to enroll in an outpatient cardiac or pulmonary exercise or rehabilitation program to continue recovery, either at HHH or in their community.

Cardiopulmonary patients at HHH benefit from a full range of rehabilitative services dedicated to enabling them to resume active, independent lives.

  • Physical Therapy to restore mobility, endurance, and strength
  • Occupational Therapy to improve endurance and stamina to complete activities of daily living
  • Respiratory Therapy to help improve breathing techniques, control lung secretions, and use oxygen properly, if needed
  • Rehabilitative Nurses monitor patients closely for individualized and optimal patient care
  • Psychiatry & Psychology Services, if needed for depression, anxiety, or difficulties adjusting
  • Consultant Physicians to work with the team to address cardiopulmonary, neurological, musculoskeletal, or medical issues that interfere with progress in rehabilitation
  • Nutrition Education to promote lifelong healthy eating
  • Recreational Therapy Services such as adaptive sports
  • Case Management & Discharge Planning services
  • Follow-up care in the Outpatient Cardiac or Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programs and the HHH Wellness Center

For more information on cardiac wellness, please click here.


"A great experience! I was unable to do anything for myself after major heart surgery. In ten days they had me back on my feet!"

For more information, please contact the
Helen Hayes Hospital Admission Referral Center:

1-888-70-REHAB ext. 4535

To schedule a guided tour,
call 845-786-4118