Heart Fit Program Opens at Geelong Private Outpatient Rehabilitation

Geelong Private Outpatient Rehabilitation is proud to announce the recent commissioning of the Heart Fit Program, aimed at people with Chronic Heart Failure (CHF).

Affecting an estimated 300,000 Australians, with another 30,000 new cases diagnosed each year, CHF is a complex clinical syndrome, particularly prevalent among those aged 65 years or older. It takes place when the heart is unable to supply enough blood flow to the body, with symptoms including breathing difficulties, tiredness, swelling in the ankles/legs or belly, dizziness, palpitations, chest pain, and sleeping problems.

Through the provision of outpatient health services, such as Geelong Private’s Heart Fit Program, CHF has been recognised nationally as a condition where inpatient hospitalisation can potentially be avoided. Studies out of the National Heart Foundation and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand recommend all patients with CHF should enrol into a heart failure disease management program. Such programs can assist patients in managing their disease, increasing physical activity, reducing salt intake, monitoring symptoms, and managing fluid levels.

The Heart Fit Program is a first for the Geelong and Wyndham areas, with other existing CHF rehabilitation programs only available to patients who have been admitted in a public hospital in the previous 12 months. Geelong Private’s program will instead be available to patients who have been treated at any one of the region’s private hospitals, in addition to those who have not sought recent hospital treatment for cardiac issues.
The Heart Fit Program meets twice weekly for approximately eight weeks, with each session comprised of two hours of exercise and ‘Physio Chi’ and one hour of education. Education presenters include a cardiac nurse, physiotherapist, pharmacist, dietitian, psychologist, social worker, and occupational therapist. Associate Professor John Amerena, a prominent Geelong cardiologist, oversees the program and brings with him a wealth of experience in this specialty area of heart failure.

The Outpatients team will liaise with the patient’s GP and cardiologist to provide an integrated approach to each patient’s healthcare management, with a comprehensive discharge assessment conducted on completion of the eight-week program.

The Heart Fit Program has been designed in accordance with NHF guidelines.