Northwestern Rehab Program Is Back In Business

Steve Miller
July 27, 2020 - 8:16 pm

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Northwestern Medicine’s cardiac rehab program is back in business, after being shut down for more than four months because of the pandemic. It’s a long way from capacity.

Monday was reopening day for the program, which is in a North Side fitness club.

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Nurses like Rita Szymanski, the clinical coordinator, can monitor groups of 16 patients at a time as they exercise on treadmills and other machines — checking their heart activity and their blood pressure.

Monday, she said, only four or five patients showed up for each class, partly because of rules mandating distancing. But some are not ready to come back yet.


“As long as we’re following these precautions, this should be safe. Initially, everyone — including myself — would have some trepidation about coming into this kind of a setting. But I’m comfortable with it being here.”

She said she is glad to be back.

“It’s a little more difficult to recognize individuals when they’re wearing a mask and you haven’t seen them in a mask before,” Szymanski says.  “But you can tell that people are smiling under their masks and are happy to be back.”