WFU reorganizes cardiac rehab program

The Wake Forest University Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, associated with the health and exercise science department on the university’s Reynolda Campus for the past 29 years, has reorganized.

Patients who are in the early stage of cardiac rehabilitation will now go to the J. Paul Sticht Center on Aging and Rehabilitation at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The program on the Reynolda Campus will continue its focus on long-term exercise maintenance for cardiac patients, but the program will also expand to provide exercise and lifestyle programs for those living with other chronic diseases and conditions such as pulmonary disease, diabetes and obesity. To reflect the new mission of the program, the name will change to the Healthy Exercise and Lifestyle ProgramS (HELPS).

“The time was right to move the early phase of cardiac rehabilitation to the medical center,” said Peter Brubaker, director of the cardiac rehabilitation program and associate professor of health and exercise science. “Our revised program will offer a medically directed, professionally supervised exercise program for people with a variety of chronic diseases in need of a structured exercise program. We also expect to have a strong relationship with the medical center, so patients with cardiac and pulmonary disease will be able to make a seemless transition to our program for long-term lifestyle interventions.”

HELPS will provide a comprehensive health assessment, including an exercise “stress” test, an evaluation of dietary habits, body composition, cholesterol and lipids, as well as daily supervised exercise at the health and exercise science department’s clinical research center.

Wake Forest’s cardiac rehabilitation program began in 1975 when Paul Ribisl, chair of Wake Forest’s health and exercise science department, and Henry S. Miller Jr., M.D., a cardiologist at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine received a grant from the American Heart Association. It was the first cardiac rehabilitation program in North Carolina and one of the first in the country.

For more information about enrolling in HELPS, contact Andrea Cox at 336-758-5395. For more information about the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, contact Jim Steele,

Categories: School of Medicine, University Announcement