The balloons were up and the buffet was ready as Carson-Tahoe Hospital celebrated the opening of its Community Wellness Center on the north end of the Silver City Mall on Thursday.
Cardiac rehabilitation, which includes education and exercise for victims of heart attacks, shares the space with a host of entities including the Wellness Department, Diabetes Education Center, CPR instruction and Lifeline, a personal response system for those at risk who live alone.
John Lapham, clinical coordinator for cardiology, said the new location has more space, parking is no longer a problem and everyone seems happy with the move. He said it's a comfortable environment for seniors in cardiac rehabilitation.
"I love it here," said patient Louise Rose. "All the services are together, and the staff is tops."
Cardiology currently sees about 50 patients a day, three times a week in this, the slow time of the year. According to Lapham, business usually peaks in March. The 12-week monitored cardiac rehabilitation course costs about $4,000, but the price drops considerably once the patient enters the maintenance program, to $3 a visit.
The facility also offers instructional classes including Helping Hearts, a spousal support class for wives of male cardiac patients, classes on diabetes control and educational programs to help patients with chronic conditions manage their diseases.
Diabetes Education Program Coordinator Alisha Hanson said the environment, away from the hospital, helps the chronically ill cope.
"I love it here," she said. "It's light, bright and away from the hospital so patients don't think of it as related to sickness."