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Rochester Heartbeat group folds

A changing demographics of the area were part of the reason for the Rochester Heartbeat group disbanding.

GRAHAM WILLIS September 4, 2014 3:30am

Rochester Heartbeat members (back) John Prigg, Shirley Nelson, Irene Ellis, (front) Margaret Clogg, Dos Hanson and Len Aicken with fourth year physiotherapy student Keely Trew.


Rochester’s Heartbeat group has a long history of support for people who have had heart attacks or undergone heart surgery.

The group last week folded due to dwindling membership.

Spokesperson John Prigg said the changing demographics of the area were part of the reason for the group disbanding.

‘‘Today it seems young people are suffering heart failure, but medical advancements see them more likely to return to work after treatment,’’ he said.

‘‘Therefore we do not see these people joining our membership.’’

Activities in the past have included the provision of much-needed equipment for the Rochester and Elmore Health Service and Echuca hospital, as well as funding of important cardiac rehabilitation programs.

The biggest donation by the group in the past five years was the provision of 15 heart defibrillators to district sporting groups.

REDHS chief executive Anne McEvoy said it was important to recognise the group’s collaboration with REDHS in providing opportunities, equipment and resources to support the delivery of cardiac rehabilitation, self management and other relevant programs.

‘‘The support of the Heartbeat group has allowed REDHS to provide preventative and support services to those in our community affected by heart disease,’’ she said.

On Monday, the group’s final gesture was to donate $1000 to REDHS to buy a Horizon Endurance 3 Elliptical Crosstrainer.

The cardio vascular fitness machine was bought from Rochester Sportspower.

‘‘The equipment will be used by individuals to improve lower limb cardiovascular fitness as part of the hospital cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program, with the assistance of physiotherapist Judy Lee,’’ Ms McEvoy said.

‘‘This equipment will also be of benefit to clients involved in the REDHS type 2 diabetes, facilitated gym and fitness of older adults programs.’’

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