The space used to be a dark, musty corner for storage. Now it’s bright and airy with natural light pouring in from three large windows.
It’s the new home of Johnston Health Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. And on Tuesday, a group of 75 community and hospital leaders and staff gathered for an open house and ribbon cutting to celebrate the new location at the north end of the Johnston Medical Mall.
The rehab moved during the first week in September from its old space in HealthQuest. The new space is about three times as large and has offices for the staff, and a reception area, classroom and dressing room for patients.
In the exercise area, a walking track loops around the block of treadmills, ellipticals and bikes, and there are TVs in all four corners.
The staff chose a serene beach scene for a wall mural, and inspirational quotes to add color to an opposite wall and along the rim of the ceiling. There’s also a dry erase wall where patients can share their thoughts.
“Our patients love our new place, and especially like being able to see outside,” says Melissa Speas, rehab coordinator. “I think the environment is uplifting, cheerful and encouraging.”
During the open house, CEO Chuck Elliott thanked two major contributors to the project, the Cannon Foundation and First Citizens Bank, which was represented by Olivia Holding, Jeff Carver and Bill Galloway.
The R. P. Holding Foundation contributed to cardiopulmonary rehab when it first opened 19 years ago on the ground floor of the hospital.
“The Holding family has been supportive of this important service since the beginning,” he said.
It’s also notable that cardiopulmonary rehab was one of the first projects undertaken by the Johnston Health Foundation, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
The foundation is preparing to launch a heart fund, which will go specifically for the needs of cardiopulmonary patients.
“It’s a nice complement to the hospital’s cardiology services, which have expanded over the past two and a half years to include interventional procedures, such as stenting,” Elliott said.
“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in our county. So we’re pleased to be able to offer access to expert cardiology care, including rehab, close to home,” he added. “This is a place where physicians can send their patients to regain their energy and confidence, and to learn how to exercise, eat well and live healthful lives.”