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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Cardiac Rehabilitation (Rehab)

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a supervised program of exercise and education for cardiovascular patients. Exercise is done under the direct guidance of a doctor, specialized nurses and exercise physiologists.

The goal is to help you return to the best possible physical condition so you feel stronger, have more energy, and decrease your risk for future cardiovascular problems.

Kameswari Maganti, MD is the medical director of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Dr. Maganti is a cardiologist with special interests in valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease and echocardiography.

Cardiac rehabilitation consists of three phases. When you enter the program depends on your condition.


  • Phase I Cardiac Rehabilitation helps you maintain or return to pre-hospital activity levels.


  • Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation begins after your hospital stay and lasts from 4-12 weeks. You are assisted in using a variety of exercise equipment. Your heart rate and heart rhythm are monitored during the entire exercise session.
  • Phase III Cardiac Rehabilitation or "Advanced Cardiac Fitness" allows you to increase your exercise level. Exercise is still supervised but only your blood pressure and pulse are checked at the start and end of each session.

The outpatient sessions include:

  • Tailored exercise programs
  • Classes on cardiac topics
  • Diet assessment and referrals
  • Stress reduction classes
  • Guided weight training (as suggested)

Patients that often join Phase II or Phase III include those with:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart valve replacement
  • Pacemaker/implantable defibrillator (ICD)

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation programs can benefit those who have had:

  • A heart attack
  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • "Documented" coronary artery disease (CAD) found by coronary angiography (cardiac catheterization) and the CAD was either treated with coronary angioplasty (balloon procedure), a stent or specific heart medicines.

Selecting a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

When choosing the cardiac rehabilitation program that is best for you, ask the following questions:

  • Where are the classes held?
  • What are the class times? How long are the classes? Does this fit into your schedule?
  • Who will be working with you? Registered nurses? Exercise physiologists? Doctors on site? Dietitians?
  • How many weeks is each phase?
  • How often and what type of progress reports are sent to your doctor?
  • How will you get there? Parking options?

Enrolling in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Talk to your doctor about Cardiac Rehabilitation to see if it is right for you. Once you have a doctor's written order, call Northwestern Memorial Cardiac Rehabilitation program at 312-926-7883. Often, an exercise stress test is needed before you can begin rehabilitation. Be sure to contact your insurance company and/or Medicare to see what portion of the cost will be covered. Northwestern Cardiac Rehabilitation staff may assist with this.

Northwestern Memorial's Cardiac Rehabilitation Outpatient Program

Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Center is located at 1030 N. Clark Street, 6th floor, Chicago, about one mile from the hospital.


Street parking is nearby. A parking lot on the west side of Clark Street provides easy access to the Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Center at a reduced rate.

Public Transportation

  • Clark and Division Streets station of the CTA's Red subway line
  • Buses with nearby stops include the 22 Clark Street, 70 Division Street and 66 Chicago Avenue buses


Exercise classes are held three days per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at a range of times during the day. Each session lasts about 1 1/4 hours.

If Northwestern's program is not convenient, look for a program closer to where you live or work. Contact a hospital in the area to ask about their program.


For more information regarding the Cardiac Rehabilitation program, please contact 312-926-7883.

Last UpdateMay 10, 2011