Millions of Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease. In fact, American Heart Association studies have shown that coronary heart disease is the single leading cause of death in the United States.

At Onslow Memorial Hospital, our team of experienced healthcare professionals is fighting coronary heart disease with a comprehensive program to diagnose, treat and speed recovery.

The best way to fight heart disease is to find it in its early stages when it’s most treatable.

Cardiac Rehab

Cardiac rehab is a physician-prescribed, medically supervised program designed to help patients improve cardiovascular health. It is a necessary part of recovery after a recent heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty, heart surgery, or peripheral artery disease. Our Cardiac Rehab Program is a team effort between the patient, their family, the physician, and the cardiac rehab staff. Patients who participate in this program learn how to take control of their lives through lifestyle choices and habits that positively affect heart health.

Our Cardiac Rehab Program has been serving the Onslow community for over 20 years. Our team of experts includes two nurses, an exercise physiologist, a dietitian, and a psychologist. Their passion, skill, and dedication to your heart health make our program truly special.

A referral from your physician is all you need to join us. Please call the cardiac rehab clinic at (910) 577-2943 to learn more or request further information at

Cardiac rehabilitation doesn't just consist of exercising, it also involves making lifestyle changes that promote good health. We believe that the first step to better heart health after medical issues is learning what happened and why. In our Cardiac Rehab Program, patients will learn about controllable and uncontrollable risk factors and ways to lower their risk. Plus, we provide physician-prescribed exercise, nutrition, and so much more.


  1. Physician-Prescribed Exercise (counseling and training): Individualized exercise programs help get your cardiovascular system working. This exercise program also includes education about getting your body moving in ways that promote heart health.
  2. Education for ‘Heart-Healthy Living’: Our cardiac rehab staff helps to educate patients on how to manage their risk factors. This includes educational classes on lifestyle changes and disease management, nutrition, diabetes education, smoking cessation, and heart-healthy living. It also includes diet instruction from our Registered Dietitian.
  3. Education and Training on Psychosocial Factors: Stress can negatively impact your heart health—this part of our Cardiac Rehab Program helps you identify and tackle everyday sources of stress. Emotional support in the form of group, peer, and individual are also available by request.

Research has shown that cardiac rehab can reduce your risk of death from heart disease, reduce your risk of future health problems, and decrease your risk of hospitalizations. Other benefits include:

  • Lowered chances of a second heart attack or surgery
  • Lessened chest pain
  • Eliminated need for some medications
  • Controlled risk factors such as high blood pressure or cholesterol
  • Help with weight loss and adopting a heart-healthy diet
  • Reduced stress through relaxation or recreation

Cardiac rehab has also been known to especially benefit those with:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • History of a heart attack
  • Chest pain (Angina)
  • Angioplasty or stents
  • Coronary artery bypass graft
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Heart failure/cardiomyopathy
  • Heart transplant
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Diabetes

Cardiac rehab typically runs for one hour, three days a week and lasts 12 weeks, depending on your needs. At your first visit, our professional staff of nurses and exercise physiologists will:

  • Conduct a detailed interview
  • Complete a comprehensive review of your medical history
  • Design an individualized exercise and heart-health improvement plan to help you meet your personal goals
  • Train you to exercise on the equipment that is appropriate for you, with the objective of increasing cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength.
  • This will include use of:
    • Treadmills
    • Bikes
    • NuStep® machines
    • Weights


After your program ends, you’ll need to continue the diet, exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits you’ve learned for the rest of your life to maintain heart-healthy benefits.

Following the completion of our Cardiac Rehab Program, our goal is for you to experience the following:

  • Increased functional capacity (the ability to carry out daily activities)
  • Reduced risk factors
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved outlook and emotional stability
  • Increased knowledge about heart disease and increased self-management
  • Increased knowledge of exercise and its’ benefit
  • Confidence to exercise on your own
  • Empowerment to maintain a healthier lifestyle

Cardiovascular Lab

The best way to fight heart disease is to find it in its earliest stages when it’s most treatable. Our on-site cardiovascular lab performs a variety of noninvasive tests to accurately diagnose and evaluate heart disease.

Our lab provides the following tests and procedures to study both the condition and function of the heart, arteries and veins:

  • Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE) adult and pediatric – An echocardiogram is a test that uses ultrasound waves to examine the heart. Because it is a noninvasive test, it is a safe and painless way to help doctors diagnose a number of abnormalities of the heart.
  • Venous Doppler (upper and lower extremities, and venous insufficiency studies) – A venous Doppler is a diagnostic ultrasound test used to check the circulation in the veins of the legs or arms. This exam shows any blockage in the veins by a blood clot or “thrombus” formation. Blood clots can break loose and reduce or stop the flow of blood to the lungs. This is a dangerous condition known as pulmonary embolism. This procedure is painless and doesn’t require any preparation.
  • Arterial Doppler (upper and lower extremities, and physiologic arterial studies) – An arterial Doppler is an ultrasound test that looks at the blood circulation in the arteries to see if there is any blockage or reduction of flow.
  • Carotid Doppler – This ultrasound test is done to evaluate blocked or reduced blood flow in the arteries of the neck that could cause stroke. This test is also used to evaluate possible stroke symptoms, such as dizziness, vision changes and loss of balance.
  • Exercise Stress Test – A study that gathers information about how your heart works during physical activity and evaluates the presence of coronary artery disease. Our lab provides treadmill stress testing as well as non-treadmill stress testing using Lexiscan (a pharmacologic stress test option for those unable to exercise adequately or complete a treadmill exercise stress test). Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI) or Cardiolite can be done in conjunction with the treadmill or non-treadmill stress test; it utilizes nuclear imaging to increase the sensitivity (accuracy) of the test.
  • Holter Monitor – A holter monitor is a machine that continuously records the heart’s rhythms. The monitor is worn for 24 hours during normal activity. Electrodes (small conducting patches) are stuck onto your chest. These are attached by wires to a small recording monitor. You carry the holter monitor in a pocket or pouch.

The lab’s services are available weekdays with test results available as quickly as possible. For more information or an appointment, call (910) 577-2531.