Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Half a million people die each year from Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), and it is the leading cause of death in the US. A quarter of a million Americans suffer heart attacks each year and for many, this is the first sign or symptom of CAD. Over 30 million Americans are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema.

COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US and is highly under diagnosed. To combat low diagnosis levels, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) has teamed with DRIVE4COPD to provide a quick, to the point, 5-question online screener designed to hone in on COPD symptoms and identify COPD sufferers.

Thanks to ARHS and the COPD Foundation efforts, an online screener makes diagnosis, perhaps the most important step in this process, simple.

COPD it is not reversible, but is certainly treatable if diagnosed. Alongside medical treatment, the most important step in battling this disease is tobacco cessation. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System has teamed with the State to offer assistance in this regard. This comes in the form of a free cessation services website ( and a free help line (1-800-Quit-Now) The website has a WebCoach available 24/7/365, as does the toll free Quit Line. Additionally, you can arrange for QuitLineNC to call you.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System provides pulmonary rehabilitation programs at The Wellness Center in Boone and at Cannon Memorial Hospital in Linville.

Our respiratory therapists are involved in both in-patient and out-patient services for patients diagnosed with respiratory ailments. The rehab programs utilizes exercise, education, and support to help participants achieve their highest function possible and improve your quality of life.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation is available to patients who are referred by a physician and whose medical records have been reviewed by rehabilitation staff. Patients with a number of conditions are eligible. Appropriate candidates may be diagnosed with:

  • COPD
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Asthma

If you are over the age of 35, still smoke, or used to smoke, any shortness of breath could be due to COPD. Visit the·DRIVE4COPD website and read more about the disease. Taking a proactive approach to your healthcare can be as simple as answering 5 questions and following up with a primary care provider.

Education, to help patients and their families understand and cope with the disease process, learn how to modify lifestyles, and reduce risk factors. Exercise, to elevate a patient's activity level in a setting where heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and EKG can be monitored as they exercise. Support, to provide an opportunity to share experiences, encourage others and, in turn, be encouraged.

For more information, download our brochure and call the Appalachian Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program at:

  • Cannon Memorial Hospital: (828) 737-7069
  • Watauga Medical Center:· (828) 268-9054

Appalachian Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program

Patients are admitted to the Appalachian Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program (ACRP) after being referred by a physician and the patient's medical records have been reviewed by the ACRP team. A patient who has, or has had one or more of the following conditions may be an appropriate candidate for the program:

  • Diagnosed heart disease
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Angina Pectoris (chest pain)
  • Post-operative cardiovascular surgery (angioplasty, bypass, atherectomy)
  • Pace makers and dysrhythmias
  • Diagnosed pulmonary disease

This involves a comprehensive evaluation by the ACRP team and/or patient's physicians and may include:

  • Monitored graded exercise test
  • Coronary risk factor profile
  • Nutritional evaluation
  • Lipid profile
  • Coping skills evaluation
  • Pulmonary function studies
  • Medical history review

ACRP is a collaborative effort between Appalachian Regional Healthcare System and Appalachian State University's Department of Health, Leisure and Exercise Science.