Samaritan suspends cardiopulmonary rehab

Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown. Sydney Schaefer/Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — After evaluating its outpatient care spaces, Samaritan Medical Center has decided to temporarily suspend its Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program, effective immediately. The service has not been operational since mid-March when COVID-19 restrictions were put into place.

According to a release from Samaritan, the program’s current location on the fourth floor of the hospital does not allow patients and staff to safely practice social distancing in order to minimize risk of infection. Samaritan will evaluate the potential to relocate the program to a different site in the future, but for now is focused on maintaining a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the program suspended, all current and future cardiopulmonary rehabilitation patients will be referred to similar programs at other facilities.

“We recognize this change will cause some inconvenience for patients and families, and we apologize for that,” said Andrew Short, vice president and chief operating officer, in a statement. “Temporarily suspending the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program is the safest course of action during this pandemic, and we are working with our patients to find alternative solutions to continue their treatment and maintain their health.”

All related staff have been relocated to other areas. No layoffs have occurred.

Those who have questions about this change may contact Kimberly Thibert, vice president for patient care services and chief nursing officer, at (315) 785-5131 or send a message through Samaritan’s website at

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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