August 14, 2019
Group's national guidelines seek to reduce morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases

AACVPR Logo Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville recently earned certification of its Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR).

Founded in 1985, the AACVPR grants certification to facilities that adhere to national guidelines focused on reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases through education, prevention, rehabilitation and disease management.

"That means that certified programs offer the most advanced practices available and have proven track records of high-quality patient care," said Brandie Williams, M.D., cardiologist on the Texas Health Stephenville medical staff and Consultants in Cardiology, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice.

Cardiovascular rehabilitation programs are designed to help people recover faster and live healthier lives — specifically individuals battling cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Programs involve exercise, education, counseling and support for patients and their families.

"We realize that when it comes to health care, individuals have choices," said Christopher Leu, Texas Health Stephenville president. "We are humbled and appreciative that the people of Erath County have entrusted us with their care and the care of their loved ones. This recognition is a wonderful testament to the hard work of the cardiac rehab team. And its patient care is directed by quality standards and national guidelines."

To earn accreditation, which is valid for three years, Texas Health Stephenville's cardiac rehab program participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program's practices. Key performance measures include:

  • Optimal blood pressure control
  • Improvement in depression
  • Tobacco cessation intervention
  • Improvement in functional (physical) capacity

"Out of all the factors that determine quality of life for a person with cardiovascular disease, improvement in functional capacity from exercising is the most powerful," Williams said. "In our program, patients have the comfort in knowing that while they exercise, an EKG monitors vital signs, and their every step is monitored and medically supervised by cardiovascular nurses, exercise physiologists and respiratory therapists. The cardiac rehab program constantly helps patients achieve better cardiac health. It's well-deserved recognition."

AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other related professional societies. Each program's application is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee, and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

In 2018, AACVPR moved to an outcomes-based process with performance measurements that represent more meaningful outcomes, according to the organization.

"We're committed to continuously looking for ways to enhance our services, so that we always meet the mission of improving the health of Stephenville residents and the surrounding areas," said Crystal Allan, Texas Health Stephenville's cardiac rehab coordinator. "This is truly an exciting achievement."

More than 25 hospitals in North Texas have earned AACVPR Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Program Certification. Along with Texas Health Stephenville, Texas Health Resources also has AACVPR-certified cardiac rehab programs located in Allen, Arlington, Burleson, Bedford, Dallas, Denton, Fort Worth, Plano and Willow Park.

Read more in a recent article in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune.

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About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit  

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