Gary Peters, 77, of Lewes, has volunteered with Beebe Healthcare’s Cardiac Rehab program for eight years. He is dedicated to heart health and Beebe’s heart patients because he has stood in their shoes.
“I was a cardiac patient before moving to Lewes, so I know what these patients are going through,” said Peters, who moved to Lewes with his wife 18 years ago. “I like helping people who need the help.”
Last month, Peters decided to take home a basket of blood pressure cuffs and parts that were no longer working. He tinkered with the parts in his workshop and was able to bring 12 working blood pressure cuffs back to the Cardiac Rehab department.
Each new blood pressure cuff costs about $120, said Shelley Tyrrell, RN, BSN, Non-Invasive Cardiac and Vascular Services manager, so Peters saved the department more than $1,800 by fixing the cuffs.
“I figure, they do about 300 blood pressures a day, so it is really important that these cuffs work,” Peters said. “When I found out how much each blood pressure cuff cost, I felt really good about saving the hospital money.”
Tyrrell said Cardiac Rehab is always growing but will expand even more in 2014 now that Medicare decided to pay for cardiac rehab for patients with congestive heart failure.
Tyrrell said the program’s goal is to keep heart patients out of the Emergency Department and prevent reoccurring heart problems. The Cardiac Rehab program teaches patients how to exercise and live healthier lifestyles.
Beebe’s Cardiac Rehab program has existed for more than 30 years. In 2003, the program was the first in Delaware to receive certification through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
“Our patients really appreciate the volunteers here, and the hospital staff depends on them,” said Lee Halloran, Beebe manager of Volunteer Services. “Our cardiac volunteers are recruiting future volunteers through their interactions with patients.”
Volunteer Services works with more than 600 volunteers who provide support throughout the Beebe Healthcare system. For more information on volunteering at Beebe, go to www.beebehealthcare.org/volunteer-beebe.
For more information, go to www.beebehealthcare.org.