September 10, 2001
creatively attacks disease
The top floor of the 1525 Building on Clifton Road is one of the best
places to look over campus. However, its location on Emorys perimeter
makes its residents some of the Universitys most overlooked.
A lot of times, said Christy Brock, an exercise physiologist
with the Heartwise Risk Reduction Program, which is located on the fifth
floor of the 1525 Building. I feel that people on the Emory campus
dont know were here.
Of the roughly 30 patients signed up in the programs telemetry
phase (for people who have experienced some sort of heart incidentbypass
surgery, heart attack, angioplasty, and the like) and the more than 200
enrolled Heartwises community wellness phase (which can be a follow-up
to the telemetry phase or an independent experience altogether), a majority
come from off campus.
And that is unfortunate because the wealth of healthy resources offered
by the Heartwise Risk Reduction Program is quite impressive.
We are more than willing to come out and see what employees
needs are, said Heartwise Director Kathy Lee Bishop-Lindsay. For
instance, Heartwise representatives will be meeting soon with employees
of the Law Library to design a walking program similar to a popular one
(also organized by Heartwise) employed by the registrars office.
As the name implies, Heartwise programming is aimed to reduce peoples
risk of heart disease. It has been on campus close to 15 years, Until
1997, Heartwise was known as the Emory Health Enhance-ment Program.
That was also the year the program moved to its current home from the
Heartwise serves not only patients who currently suffer from heart disease,
but it also aims to identify those who could be candidates for problems
down the road (smokers, people who do not exercise, a person with high
blood pressure), and try to lead them down a healthier path.
Heartwise attempts to accomplish this task through its prevention program.
The first step of the prevention program involves a stress test, which
is administered by Laurence Sperling, director of preventive cardiology
at the Emory Clinic, under which Heartwise falls.
From that test, I can design an exercise program for [the patient],
Brock said. That is the next step. The year-long program includes not
only specific exercises, but eventual goals and even nutrition information.
After a year, if the patient remains a member of the program, he or she
would undergo another test and Brock would design an updated program.
Brock is one of what will soon be a staff of three Heart-wise exercise
physiologists. The program also employs three permanent part-time nurses
and nurse practitioner and a patient service coordinator. While the idea
of producing more than 200 individualized exercise programs a year may
sound daunting, the workload really wasnt that overwhelming.
We get about 510 new patients a week; if you divided that
up over five days, its not too bad, she said.
Brock is rarely stumped when it comes to designing a program, either.
I can usually find a way for you to exercise, she said. [Even]
if a person comes in with some kind of a physical limitation, there [often]
is some way we can adapt the exercise routine to fit their needs.
Meeting with the patients individually, Brock said, is a crucial part
of designing and specialized program.
Heartwises programming, in general, is pretty versatile. Exercises
in calisthenics (design-ed as a warm-up or cool down to a longer workout),
water aerobics, yoga and a volleyball/racquetball hybrid called wallyballthe
only team sport offeredare just some of the programs selections.
Personal training is offered as well at no extra cost.
If you join a program where you are always doing the same thing,
youre going to get bored, Brock said.
Heartwises telemetry phase is a bit more intense. While working
out, patients are hooked up to an EKG and their heart rate and blood pressure
is constantly monitored. The rehab program also includes a twice-a-week
behvior modification program called INTERxVENT CR that incorporates risk
reduction, behavior modification and lifestyle management.
Heartwises programming is most definitely in-depth, but it is not
free. Insurance can cover some costs, but not others, the best thing to
do is ask the patient service coordinator. The monthly fee for joining
the prevention program is $60 ($55 if joining with a significant other),
and other programming may include additional fees.
While working out individually is certainly an optionsharing a
floor with the Blomeyer Health Fitness Center helpsHeartwise administrators
and exercise physiologists also focus on group training.
We try to buddy new people up with someone who has had success,
or so they can see that theyre not here alonethere are other
people here who have risk factors, Bishop-Lindsay said. Maybe
theres someone whos actually had heart surgery like theyve
had, or maybe theres someone here who just wants to change their
lifestyle. The results and the camaraderie we see makes us feel good about
Not every aspect of Heartwise involves gym clothes. An eight-week weight
management program is another aspect of Heartwise. Each weekly class session
runs about an hour and is designed and facilitated by a licensed dietician.
By appointment, Heartwise also offers individual nutrition counseling.
Heartwises lecture series is open to everyone. Each month, several
lectures on a specific subject (Septembers is cholesterol) are presented.
The next one, an update on lipids, will take place on Sept. 14 in the
1525 Buildings fifth-floor conference room.
For more information on the Heartwise Risk Reduction Program, call 404-778-2850.