Griffin Hospital Cardiac Rehab

Location and MD Supervision:

Our program is located on campus at Griffin Hospital.  Our building is basically across the street from the main hospital in The Center for Cancer Care / Hewitt Pavilion.  Dr. Mark Grogan is our Medical Director.


Our classes are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.   We have class times at 8:00 am, 9:00 am, 3:40 pm, and 4:40 pm.  The Fitness Center is also open during these hours, and since we have separate gym space, we run the programs simultaneously.  The Fitness Center is also open on Friday mornings 8:00 am – 11:30 am.

Telemetry System:

We use LSI telemetry with 8 monitors.


Our Phase II program can accommodate 32 patients (8 monitors for each class) and the Fitness Center presently has 50 members.  A typical day in the Fitness Center sees 35 – 40 people.  Our volume in Phase II right now is 28.


Phase II classes are 1½ hours long.  Exercise is 30 – 45 minutes long and resistance exercises are introduced on Mondays and Thursdays.  Education classes are held every day between exercise classes.  The morning sessions and afternoon sessions both share the education time.  We have 36 different classes, covering topics such as nutrition, stress reduction, anatomy and risk factor modification.


We have 8 treadmills, 4 recumbent bikes, 1 Nu-Step, 4 rowers,  4 Airdyne bikes,  1 Elliptical, 2 arm ergometers, 1 Stair Climber and 2 Stair Steppers.  We also have a circuit of resistance equipment and free weights.  In addition, we have parallel bars, stability balls, Bosu balls, mini-trampoline, and a mat table.  We have 2 gyms, and the larger gym we share with Physical Therapy.

We use LSI Monitoring System.


Eunice Lisk, MS is the Manager who works 40 hours per week.  Eunice is an Exercise Physiologist.  Tom Gallagher, MS is the Exercise Physiologist and works 36 hours; Maria Cantito, RN is the cardiac nurse for the program and works 30 hours per week.  We have 4 per diem staff including 2 RNs and 2 exercise physiologists.


We regularly have students from Sacred Heart University, Southern Connecticut State University and Springfield College.  We have nursing students rotate through from Naugatuck Valley Community College and nursing aides Griffin Hospital’s Allied Health Program.

Support Group:

The Valley Heart Club meets once a month and has guest lecturers.  They also hold a summer picnic and a Christmas party.  Eunice Lisk and Beverly Kondor both sit on the board of that committee.

Women & Heart Disease:

This committee is comprised of staff and volunteers from the community.  They provide 2 annual events to educate the public about women and heart disease.  In February they host a dinner and award ceremony to recognize an individual and a company in the valley area that support women and heart disease.  In May they host either a “Desserts for the Heart” or “Women’s Day of Health”, both open to the public.  “Desserts for the Heart” features a guest speaker while healthy desserts are served.  “Women’s Day of Health” is held on a Saturday morning in a seminar-style setting, offering a number of different speakers on a variety of topics.  Maria Cantito, Beverly Kondor and Eunice Lisk are all on this committee.


We are involved in a Research Project by Sacred Heart University about the long term benefits of Cardiac Rehab.


In February of 2011, we held our first annual Reunion and 64 people attended.  We invited Cardiac Rehab patients from 2 years prior.  We had a former patient tell her story of heart disease, cardiac rehab and subsequent lifestyle changes, as well as her commitment to Griffin Hospital’s Women & Heart Disease Committee.  It was a huge success!  We are planning our second reunion for February 2012.

Heart Health Fair:

We held a Heart Health Fair in October 2012 and had an amazing turnout of Griffin staff.  We offered lectures, demonstrations, booths and tours.  Unfortunately, we had very poor attendance as Hurricane Sandy closed in on New England.  We are going to try to recreate this event next September.

Community Education:

We regularly attend health fairs and provide lectures to area companies.  These fairs and talks are arranged by our Corporate Health and Wellness Coordinator.

Bariatric Exercise Program:

This program was designed for pre- and post-op bariatric patients.  Classes are held on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings 6:30 – 7:30 pm and Saturday mornings 9:00 – 10:00 am.  Some education and information sharing take place each week.  Baseline testing and periodic re-assessments for insurance purposes and to keep MD informed of progress.  Also involved in monthly, 3-hour “On Track” Workshop for post-op patients where they cover exercise, nutrition and spirituality.


We are going through the certification process right now!  Fingers crossed!


Biggest Challenge:

Getting our physicians to refer!!!!!

Program is Unique because it is in a beautiful, soothing, healing environment.  Also because it is Planetree.