Cardiac Rehab

Cardiac rehabilitation, also known as cardiac rehab, is a supervised outpatient rehab program designed to help people recover from heart attacks, heart surgery, or other heart problems. Cardiac rehab includes exercise training, dietary training, and education and counseling on how to reduce the risk of future heart problems. It may also include tobacco cessation counseling, diabetes guidance, medication management, and social support.

The goals of cardiac rehab are to:

  • Help you understand your condition and treatment
  • Help you make lifestyle changes that will improve your heart health
  • Allow you to perform to the best of your abilities
  • Provide you with support and motivation to help you make and sustain lifestyle changes

During Cardiac Rehab

Cardiac rehab begins with a medical evaluation. The medical evaluation will give your cardiac rehab team an opportunity to evaluate your current medical condition and to track your progress over time.

Exercise is a big part of any cardiac rehab program. When you first begin cardiac rehab, you'll be asked to do some exercises while your heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen levels are being monitored. Your cardiac rehab team will then design an exercise program for you that's tailored to your specific needs. You will likely be given a combination of aerobic and weight training exercises.

During your cardiac rehab, you may also meet with a dietitian who will teach you the guidelines for a heart-healthy diet. Eating a heart-healthy diet can help you to lose weight, and to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Your dietitian can also help you with meal planning.

Counseling to help you reduce stress, quit smoking (if applicable), cope with lifestyle changes, and reduce your risk of future heart problems will also be provided. The counseling portion of your cardiac rehab will give you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your recovery or your cardiac rehab program.

Wake Forest Baptist Health is home to the first cardiac rehabilitation program in North Carolina and one of the first in the United States. Our team of clinical exercise specialists, registered nurses, and a nutritionist will show you how you can successfully manage a heart-healthy lifestyle. Our program is certified by the state of North Carolina and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

How Long Does Cardiac Rehab Last?

How long you will attend cardiac rehab depends on your overall condition. Most programs last for about three months.

How Much Does Cardiac Rehab Cost?

Most insurance carriers cover outpatient cardiac rehab. At Wake Forest, we'll determine your coverage before you start your program.

"Graduate" or Maintenance Program

After completion of the initial phase of cardiac rehab, patients can join our maintenance exercise program. This phase includes supervised open gym times. The program is offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday 6:30 am to 8 am and 2:30 pm to 4 pm. This is a self-pay program and is not insurance reimbursable.

Class Details

Classes meet at 7:30 am, 8:30 am, and 10:45 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays on the second floor of the Sticht Center. For more information, call 336-713-8855 or email

Program Staff


Killian C. Robinson, MDNorman E. Adair, MD
Killian C. Robinson, MD
Cardiac Rehab Medical Director
Norman E. Adair, MD
Pulmonary Rehab Medical Director
Connie Paladenech, RRT, RCP
Program Director,
Respiratory Therapist
 Theresa Addison, MS
ACSM Certified Clinical
Exercise Specialist
Cynthia Hayes, RN, BSN
Registered Nurse
Beverly Martin, RN, BSN
Registered Nurse
Suzanne DeLapp, RRT, RCP
Respiratory Therapist
William Allen, CSCS
Exercise Specialist
Tony Walker, RRT, RCP
Respiratory Therapist
Sharon Cornelison, RCP, RRT-NPS
Respiratory Therapist
Julie Ellis, MPH, RD, LDN
Sue Longinotti


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Patient Brian Grubb

“I saved my heart by losing over 100 pounds.”

After learning his heart was failing, Brian Grubb knew he had to get serious about his health. That’s when he was sent to the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Wake Forest Baptist.

Last Updated: 01-06-2014
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.