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HackensackUMC Presents 15th Annual Cardiac Rehabilitation Persons of the Year Awards

cardiac persons of the year resizedThe Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center, a division of the Heart and Vascular Hospital at HackensackUMC, part of the Hackensack Meridian Health family, recently held the 15th annual awards ceremony to name the “Cardiac Rehab Persons of the Year.”  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 Barbara Bannan Rehabilitation Person of the Year Award was received by Catherine Burns of Paramus.  The Ed Wheat Rehabilitation Person of the Year Award was presented to Joseph Yung of Riverdale.

“I congratulate Catherine and Joseph for their hard work in earning these awards,” said Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D., president, HackensackUMC. “Our medical center is patient-centered and quality oriented and our team takes tremendous pride in caring for everyone, every single time.  I am extremely proud of our doctors, nurses and all of our team members for their dedication to our patients and their families.”

“The staff at the Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center takes great pride in the work we do and it brings us great pleasure to honor past patients who have shown determination to recover and change their lives for the better,” said Thomas P. Mahady, senior exercise physiologist, Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Center.  “Catherine was always our early-morning cheerleader. Her effort was tremendous.  She took the initiative and really pushed herself.  Joseph was always able to find the silver lining in anything.  His positive attitude helped him outpace the goals we had for him in cardiac rehabilitation.”

Catherine Burns came to the center after having a stenting procedure to relieve symptoms of angina.  Catherine exercised three times a week for three months at the center and has since joined HackensackUMC Fitness & Wellness Powered by the Giants in Maywood.

“The rehabilitation convinced me that staying active and exercise are so important to your overall health,” said Catherine Burns, recipient of the Barbara Bannan Rehabilitation Person of the Year Award. “I also enjoyed the other workshops the center offered including yoga and nutrition.  Overall, the staff at the center taught me how to take better care of myself.”

Joseph Yung suffered a heart attack during a 25 mile bike ride.  After he was released from the hospital, Joseph came to the center three times a week for a mix of cardio, which included using the treadmill, stair master, stationary bike and rowing machine to strengthen his cardiovascular system.

“It’s great being recognized for this honor and I have the staff to thank for it,” said Joseph Yung, recipient of the Ed Wheat Rehabilitation Person of the Year Award. “At times I didn’t want to be here.  But, their enthusiasm got me through it.  They were my motivator.  My rehabilitation really set another course for me.  I exercise four to five times a week now and it has become life-changing for me.”

The daughter of Barbara Bannan, for whom one of the awards is named, and her family have been attending the ceremony to name the Cardiac Rehab Persons of the Year for 13 years.  Patricia Bannan says she is touched by the dedication of the staff who supported her mother in 2004.

“We knew how much this meant to her as she was recovering,” said Patricia Bannan, daughter of Barbara Bannan. “The program enabled her to feel confident and positive about her physical capabilities and her mental outlook. I am deeply moved that we can remember my mother’s remarkable spirit, her sense of humor and her accomplishments while at the same time acknowledging and honoring this wonderful program and the people who make it possible.”

HackensackUMC 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.

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