Cardiac Rehabilitation

We Put Our Hearts into Helping You Get Better

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised outpatient program designed to assess each patient’s risk factors for heart disease and implement an individualized cardiac treatment plan. Our goal is to educate our patients about heart disease and the healthier lifestyle choices that reduce their risk for future cardiac events. Both the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology have recognized cardiac rehabilitation as an important component of cardiac care. Cardiac rehabilitation is appropriate for people of any age who have had a cardiac event or have risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

MarinHealth is the only healthcare organization in the Bay Area offering patients a choice of two distinct, evidence-based approaches to rehabilitation:

  • Traditional Cardiac Rehabilitation
    Traditional rehab includes three phases. Phase I happens at the patient’s bedside in the hospital, during recovery from a cardiac event. Patients take Phase II and Phase III on an outpatient basis, in a supportive health team environment.

  • Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease®
    Developed by the founder of the renowned Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Dr. Dean Michael Ornish, this intensive rehabilitation program strives to reverse heart disease through a four-element approach that includes a low-fat, vegetarian meal plan, exercise, stress reduction, and group support.

Traditional Cardiac Rehabilitation, or Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™?

The rehabilitation program you choose will depend on your personal preferences and your physician’s recommendation. The Ornish approach can be taken as an alternative to either Traditional Cardiac Rehab Phase II or Traditional Cardiac Rehab Phase III.

  • Traditional Cardiac Rehab
    • One-hour sessions, 36 hours in total.
    • Exercise consists of walking on a treadmill. Exercise will be medically supervised and our patient’s heart will be monitored. Exercise will progress based on our patient’s test results and their symptoms.
    • Stress management education.
    • Basic nutrition overview. Diet can be omnivorous.
    • One-on-one coaching sessions, no support group program.
    • Focus on the effects of heart disease and increasing strength and stamina.
    • Based on traditional medicine.
    • Covered by Medicare if you have had a cardiac event within the past year, documented stable angina, or if you have had a recent valve or coronary artery bypass surgery.
  • Ornish Lifestyle Medicine™ Program
    • Four-hour sessions, 72 hours in total.
    • Exercise is required but the type of exercise is individually prescribed between you and your doctor. Exercise will be medically supervised and our patient’s heart will be monitored. Exercise will progress based on our patient’s test results and their symptoms.
    • Stress management education and experiential sessions including gentle stretches, breathing practices, relaxation, imagery, and meditation.
    • Low-fat, plant-based, whole food diet; access to over 200 recipes.
    • Group support sessions, learning new communication techniques.
    • Learn to incorporate comprehensive lifestyle changes into everyday activities, including healthy eating, regular exercise, stress management techniques, and emotional support.
    • Based on the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program™, focusing on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and emotional support
    • Covered by Medicare if you have had a cardiac event within the past year, documented stable angina, or if you have had a recent valve or coronary artery bypass surgery.

Cardiac Rehab Schedule

A physician referral is required to start cardiac rehabilitation. Outside referrals are accepted if the patient goes through an initial cardiac assessment by a cardiologist prior to starting rehabilitation classes. Our program starts with Phase II because Phase I happens at the patient’s bedside in the hospital, during recovery from a cardiac event. For program information or class schedule call 1-415-927-6177.