Hours: Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Manager: Julie Matthews
Phone: 705-728-9090 Ext. 47650
The North Simcoe Regional Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program is a supervised exercise program designed to improve the cardiovascular health of people who have experienced any of the following events:
- Heart attack or acute coronary syndrome
- Angioplasty (balloon or stent)
- Bypass surgery
- Pacemaker or ICD
- Heart failure
- Heart transplantation
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Non-debilitating stroke or TIA
- Valve surgery
You may also be eligible if you have multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Inactive lifestyle
We offer a six-month program that includes individualized exercise plans for each patient. Your team members include kinesiologists and administrative support with consultation from cardiologists and cardiac diagnostics technicians. This program assists participants in acquiring the skills needed to achieve and maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle in order to get back to everyday life following a cardiovascular event.
What are the benefits of participating?
- Improve your heart and muscles
- Lower your blood pressure
- Lose body fat
- Raise your HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
- Lower your triglycerides
- Improve the control of your blood sugar
- Improve the health of your arteries, reducing atherosclerosis risk
- Reduce the risk of heart rhythm disturbance
- Raise your angina threshold
- Increase the strength, endurance and flexibility of your muscles
- Improve mood and reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and stress
- Improve brain function and protect memory and thinking skills
- Improve sleep quality
- Feel more energetic
Activity #1: Cardiovascular Rehab Orientation – Online Video
The rehab team will send you a link to view a video that describes Cardiovascular Rehab. This session includes topics such as:
- Who is Cardiovascular Rehab for?
- Review of hospital discharge instructions and what to do if you have another health concern
- Risk factors that we can help you change
- Our program structure
Activity #2: Virtual Intake Assessment – Telephone or Video Conference Appointment
- You will meet virtually with an exercise therapist to review your health history, medications, risk factors and goals
- Virtual appointments are approximately 45 minutes in length
- Please review any materials the Rehab team has sent you to prepare for this appointment
- Please ensure you are in a quiet location
- You will not be exercising during this appointment
Activity #3: Stress Test Appointment
A stress test, sometimes called a treadmill test or exercise test, helps a doctor find out how well your heart works during exercise. You are connected to a monitor while you walk on a treadmill. Your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure are monitored by the cardio technologist. Every three minutes the speed and incline increases until your maximum effort is reached. The appointment takes approximately 30 minutes and includes test preparation (electrode placement and resting measurements). Actual time walking on the treadmill can vary based on your fitness level.
We recommend that all participants complete a treadmill-based stress test*. This can be organized at RVH’s Cardio-Respiratory Treatment Clinic, or if you have recently completed one at your specialist’s office, we can obtain this report.
*Some participants may be unable to complete a treadmill stress test and will complete a walking-based test instead.
Drop-off, Parking and Registration Information
If you are being dropped off:
- You can be dropped off at the Simcoe Entrance.
- Inside the entrance, you will complete COVID-19 screening questions and be asked to put on a mask.
- You will directed to the registration kiosk close by and receive directions to get to the Cardio-Respiratory Department.
If you are driving yourself:
- Please park in the Main Entrance parking lot, and enter through the Main Entrance.
- You will complete COVID-19 screening questions and be asked to put on a mask.
- Please ask the screeners to direct you to Central Registration.
- Once you are registered, please ask to be directed to the Cardio-Respiratory Department.
- Take all of your medications as usual
- No caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks or other forms such as chocolate) 4 hours prior to your stress test
- Have a very light meal before your test (light breakfast or lunch)
- Your Ontario Health Card (OHIP)
- To wear or bring comfortably fitted clothing (you may work up a sweat)
- A good pair of exercise or walking shoes (no steel toe boots)
- Before you arrive, please leave any valuables – like jewelry – at home
We continue to offer our program on a virtual home-based format during COVID-19. Please call 705-797-3157 to receive a program update, and see “Home-Based Program” below for more information. We encourage you to start the program as soon as possible and not wait until we can offer weekly classes. Don’t delay your recovery and join us TODAY!
During COVID-19 restrictions there is an option to attend a one-time in-person appointment at the Innisfil YMCA.
When we re-open, our classes will take place at the Innisfil YMCA and the future Barrie YMCA.
Our program is currently available as home-based due to COVID-19.
Our home-based program is designed for participants who are unable to attend the exercise sessions due to work commitments, distance to the program, or those who already have a regular exercise routine and are confident to continue independently. It is expected that the participants are motivated to complete regular exercise independently and are willing to participate in regular telephone calls with an exercise therapist.
Home-based participants are invited to attend an individual virtual intake appointment and stress test. You may choose to attend a one-time individual exercise session at the Innisfil YMCA to ensure your safety while exercising independently at home.
In addition to the Program at RVH, there are multiple programs across the region with different exercise times and home-based options.
Please ask staff about these other program options.
There is a fee to participate in the RVH Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program. For further information about fees, payment options and extended healthcare coverage, please speak with staff in-person, or call 705-797-3157. We will ensure that every person has the ability to participate in the program, regardless of financial situation. Please attend our FREE orientation session to learn more about the program.
Sending in your referral
If you have recently been admitted to RVH for a heart problem you may have already been referred to our Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program automatically. You should receive a call within two weeks of discharge to discuss Cardiovascular Rehabilitation.
To participate in Cardiovascular Rehab
- Download the regional referral form – North Simcoe Muskoka Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program Referral
- Have your health care provider complete the referral form
- Have your health care provider fax the referral form and required information to 705-797-3127
If you are unable to attend your appointment or have not been contacted after two weeks of referral, please contact the program clerk at 705-797-3157 and leave a message.
Our Core Education Sessions
Due to COVID 19, we are unable to offer our in-person education sessions listed below. Your Exercise Therapist will speak with you about your specific needs and create a unique education plan for you. Please review the videos below to answer some of your questions. We hope you will have more questions we can help answer!
You will have the opportunity to join other participants in three 60-minute group-based education sessions. These sessions are in addition to your weekly exercise class and are led by our dietitian, occupational therapist, pharmacist, and social worker to help you better understand ways that you can improve your health. All participants are welcome to attend, as well as any family member or friend who is part of your recovery.
This provides a great opportunity to have your questions answered by the experts in these areas!
Education Session: Nutrition
Join us to learn about how to eat well, fuel your body and fight cardiovascular disease. Our dietitian will discuss choices you can make to improve your eating habits.
A message from a participant:
“I felt comfortable asking questions in our small group.”
“The dietitian is very knowledgeable.”
Education Session: Balancing Your Life to Better Heart Health
Heart health is not just about making lifestyle improvements. Join us and learn more about how to improve your mood, how to deal with feelings of anxiety and depression, and other psychosocial factors related to your heart health, as you and your loved ones adjust to a new normal following your cardiovascular event. And if stress is one of your risk factors, we can help identify some of your life stressors and help provide the tools necessary to cope. You will also have a chance to try a few mindfulness techniques.
A message from a participant:
“We were presented with lots of great information and had good conversations.”
“I learned how to manage my stress and anxiety better.”
Education Session: Medications
Having a cardiovascular event can lead to prescriptions for new medications. You will learn about common cardiovascular medications, why they’re important, the common side effects, and how to manage your new routine. Please bring your up-to-date list of medications with you.
A message from a participant:
”I gained new found knowledge about my medications.”
“This was a great information session.”
Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Orientation
Cardiovascular Rehabilitation - Nutrition
Cardiovascular Rehabilitation - Medication
Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre
Exercise sessions take place at the Innisfil YMCA located at 7315 Yonge Street (closest intersection Yonge & Innisfil Beach Road). Additional classes to be held at the Barrie YMCA once it is built