Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation for patients at New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) Heart Center begins immediately following any heart attack, heart surgery or stent procedure. From critical inpatient cardiac recovery care to long-term outpatient cardiac rehabilitation programs, we help guide you to a healthier heart.

Nationally Certified Cardiac Rehabilitation

Our cardiac rehabilitation program has been nationally certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. We are recognized as a leader in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation for our superior standard of quality cardiac and pulmonary care.

NHRMC Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our Marlene Sigler Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, located in NHRMC Heart Center - Outpatient Services building, is a medically supervised exercise and education program that helps to improve your heart health. Our specially trained registered nurses and exercise physiologists work with you one-on-one to develop heart-healthy habits to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of future heart problems. You need a physician referral to participate in the program.

This program is specifically designed for people who have:

  • Heart conditions
  • Undergone heart treatment
  • Experienced a serious heart episode, such as a heart attack

A physician referral is needed to sign up for the program. For more information, contact the NHRMC Cardiac Rehabilitation Team at (910) 662-9933.

NHRMC Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation

NHRMC Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation is an innovative program designed to help patients embrace lifestyle changes as a way of reversing cardiac disease without surgery. Using the Ornish Reversal Program, qualifying patients take part in an intensive nine-week program that focuses on four key areas: exercise, stress management, nutrition and group support. During the program, groups of about 15 participants meet for four hours, twice a week. Guided by a supportive team that includes a medical director, program director, nurse case manager and experts in stress management, behavioral health, fitness and nutrition, participants learn to take control of their treatment and sustain a healthier lifestyle. 

Ornish_Staff3_0224webThe program is based on more than three decades of research showing that the progression of coronary artery disease and other chronic conditions can be treated and reversed through lifestyle changes. To qualify for the program you must have one or more of the following:

  • Acute myocardial infarction with the last 12 months
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Current stable angina pectoris
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant

A physician referral is needed to sign up for the program. For more information, visit, or contact the NHRMC Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Team at (910) 662-9901.

Exercise Programs

Your therapist designs an exercise program tailored to your individual needs and adjusts your program as you progress. Sessions include both aerobic and strength training exercises to increase endurance and improve your overall health. Your therapist works closely with you to ensure you are doing the exercises correctly.

Nutrition Counseling

A clinical nutritionist meets with you and your family to identify your current dietary habits. Together, goals are established to help you lose weight and improve your overall health.

Ongoing Education

We provide valuable information on heart-healthy lifestyle topics, including:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Risk factor modification
  • Stress management and emotional support
  • Signs and symptoms of heart disease
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Medications