The Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center, a division of the Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, recently held the 17th annual “Cardiac Rehab Persons of the Year” awards. The awards recognize the efforts of patients who have initiated the most significant changes to their risk factors for heart disease, including reducing body weight, managing hypertension and lipids, managing diabetes through diet and exercise, managing stress and staying optimistic.
The recipient of the Barbara Bannan Rehabilitation Person of the Year Award is 70-year-old Christine Gravina, of Moonachie. Christine came to cardiac rehabilitation after a series of medical events, which eventually affected her heart.
“This award is in recognition of Christine’s performance and improvement at our center,” said Thomas P. Mahady, senior exercise physiologist, Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. “Christine is the person who best exemplifies the mission of the center and the spirit of Barbara Bannan. Christine came in here with more of a challenge than most people. She worked harder and rose above the challenges we presented her. But, most of all, she had an amazing sense of humor.”
Christine took part in cardiac rehabilitation three times a week for 12 weeks, which included using exercise machines, the treadmill, walking the indoor track and using weights to build strength. Today, Christine continues to walk regularly at a local park.
“The Cardiac Rehabilitation team helped me a lot,” recalls Christine. “They got me moving and they told me what to eat and what not to eat to get healthier. There’s a very good team of professionals here who helped me every step of the way and I am grateful for their support.”
The recipient of the Ed Wheat Rehabilitation Person of the Year Award is 64-year-old John Mamo of Fair Lawn. John attended cardiac rehabilitation after having a quadruple bypass in June of 2018.
“I had a heart attack, but never knew I had it,” recalls John. “Looking back, I believe I had the heart attack in May, but I passed it off as not feeling well. At first the doctors thought I just needed a couple of stents, but then they discovered I needed a lot more.”
Four weeks after he was released from the hospital, John began exercising at the Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center. He was put on a three day a week regime that included walking, weight training and using the treadmill, recumbent bike and rowing machine.
“They really put me to work,” said John. “There were days I was very depressed and upset, but the team here got me through it. Today, I feel terrific. I am so grateful to the cardiac rehabilitation team who helped me so much, including nutritional counseling. I could not have accomplished this healthy lifestyle without their encouragement.”
Today, John works out four to five times a week at a local gym.
“John worked exceptionally hard and it shows today from his physically fit appearance. What I also remember about him is that he had a great sense of humor as well,” said Thomas Mahady. “It’s an honor to present John with this award because he is truly an inspiration to our team and all of our patients.”
“I congratulate Christine and John for their hard work in earning these awards and I am extremely proud of our doctors, nurses and all of our team members for their dedication to our patients and their families,” said Joseph E. Parrillo, M.D., chair, Heart and Vascular Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. “The team at the Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center takes great pride in the work they do and it brings us great pleasure to honor past patients who have shown determination to recover and change their lives for the better.”
Hackensack University Medical Center is home to the Heart and Vascular Hospital, a state-of-the-art “hospital within a hospital.” This facility houses the latest equipment and programs, and integrates preventive, diagnostic and treatment services, with a special focus on cardiovascular disease management and breakthrough research. Inpatients and outpatients are treated for all types of cardiac and vascular diseases, including heart problems, such as blocked arteries and irregular heartbeats, peripheral vascular disease and neurovascular diseases, such as stroke and aneurysm.
For more information about the Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center, please visit www.hackensackUMC.org or call 551-996-3589.
About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care, which is comprised of 34,100 team members and more than 6,500 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as one of the top two hospitals in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-19 Best Hospital rankings. It was also named one of the top five New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2018. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 25 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center® and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to THE NORTHERN TRUST PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.