San Francisco VA Health Care System
Healthy Heart Program
Take control of your life.
Begin your journey to a healthier heart!
Cardiovascular disease affects more than 1 in 3 American adults and is the leading cause of death in the United States. The Healthy Heart Program is a free, 12-week, home-based, customized exercise and lifestyle program that is intended to help Veterans achieve and maintain optimal cardiovascular health.
The program is offered to Veterans who have been treated for a cardiac condition at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. It provides education and guidance on exercise, nutrition, medication use, stress management, and other ways to improve heart health.
Design and Implementation of a Home-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program.* Read how a home-based cardiac rehabilitation program improves access and enrollment.
Are you a Veteran who has experienced one or more of the following?
- Heart attack
- Cardiac stent placement
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Heart valve replacement
- Heart failure
- Chronic angina (chest discomfort with exertion)
If so, you may be eligible to participate in the Healthy Heart Program. The program can start as soon as you are discharged home from the hospital. A member of the Healthy Heart team will try to visit you while you are in the hospital to give you information and perform and initial assessment. The remainder of your evaluation and enrollment can be performed by telephone following discharge. Telephone sessions can be scheduled at your convenience.
The Healthy Heart team consists of a physician director, registered nurses, registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and a cardiologist. Our professional staff will develop an individualized plan focused on your needs and goals. You will receive telephone calls by one of our team members who will provide ongoing support, assist you in setting goals, and answer any questions you may have. Regular assessment and adjustment of therapies will ensure you are exercising at a level that is therapeutic and safe. Exercise equipment based on your specific needs can be provided, and the program is free of charge.
The core components of the Healthy Heart Program include: exercise training, healthy eating, medication adherence, smoking cessation and stress management.
Scientific studies have shown that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program can increase their life expectancy by up to five years and have 27 percent lower cardiac death rates, 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks, 21 percent nonfatal heart attacks, and an improved quality of life.
By completing this program you will have the opportunity to:
- Live longer and lessen your chances for another heart attack
- Reduce heart disease symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath
- Stop or reverse damage to your blood vessels in your heart
- Lessen the physical and emotional effects of heart disease
- Improve confidence and well-being
- Improve stamina and strength
- Get back to work or usual activities
- Maintain healthy weight
- Understand medications
- Be there for loved ones
Patient Stories* offers patient perspectives, thoughts and experiences on the program.
Ready to enroll?
Contact Kim Piros at 415-750-2016, or email us for more information.
- Cardiosmart* provides information about cardiovascular health and helps patients track blood pressure, weight, and physical activity.
- Heart.org* provides information about cardiac rehabilitation along with tools and resources to improve cardiovascular health.
- MyFitnessPal* and Lose It!* are user-friendly apps that track food intake, nutrition and physical activities. These apps have large databases of foods and beverages, allow users to save a nutrition profile or previously entered products, and have barcode readers for easy input.
- MOVE! behavioral health, nutrition, and physical activity handouts can help you lose weight, keep it off, and improve your health.
- Heart Healthy Toolbox* offers educational information about diet, nutrition, and physical activity.
- Go4Life* is designed to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life.
- ExerciseMenu* provides free exercise instruction and demo videos.
- Mended Hearts* supports patients with heart disease and their caregivers using online tools and peer-to-peer support.
- Free Guided Meditations* from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.
- CDC 24/7: Saving Lives, Protecting People* helps smokers quit.
- Review of Home-based Cardiact Rehabilitation*
- Design of the Home-based Cardiac Rehabilitation Program*
- Impact of Home-based Cardiac Rehabilitation*
- Predictors of Participation and Completion of Home-based Cardiac Rehabilitation*
[Asterisked (*) links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked website.]
- Building 203, 1st Floor, Room 1A-13A
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday, excluding federal holidays
8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.