Community Health Network

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News release

Community Hospital South pulmonary rehab patient surpasses 1,000 visits; South side resident attributes better health to regular attendance, dedicated staff

For release: 7/28/2010

Indianapolis, IN---When Carl Hirschle was discharged from Community Hospital South after a surgery in July 2003, his doctor prescribed 10 weeks in pulmonary rehab to help rebuild his strength. Seven years and more than 1,000 visits later, Hirschle’s commitment to the program has far exceeded doctor’s orders—and he has no plans to stop now.

Carl rarely misses an opportunity to come to our clinic for a workout. He is by far our longest attending patient,” said Julie Williams, R.N., care manager at the Healthy Hearts Center at Community Hospital South. “His dedication shows how regular exercise can improve health and quality of life.”

Patients with chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or emphysema, are often referred to pulmonary rehab at the Healthy Hearts Center by their physicians to help in the management of their condition. They meet with clinicians on site and participate in an exercise program to help them improve lung function. Insurance typically covers ten weeks in the program, after which patients have the option to continue on a self-pay basis.

Hirschle, who suffers from emphysema, noticed an improvement in his symptoms after attending the 10-week program and has been a self-pay patient ever since. He completes a one-hour workout three days a week using a variety of exercise machines: treadmill, step machine, recumbent bike, weights, exercise bands, leg press and arm crank. Between exercises, he records his activities and measures his oxygen saturation and pulse.

According to Hirschle, “I feel like I can accomplish more when I exercise.” A father of five and grandfather of two, Hirschle enjoys spending time in his yard growing flowers and vegetables, stamp collecting, reading and completing jigsaw puzzles.

The staff at the Healthy Hearts Center recognized Hirschle’s 1,000th visit with a trophy and balloons. He continues to set new goals for himself and should reach 1,200 visits by the end of 2011.

“I have seen many people come and go, and they all leave in better shape than they came in,” said Hirschle. “There are other places I could go, but I like the staff at Community and am getting the help I need. I consider them my friends after seven years.”

About Community Hospital South
Community Hospital South is an acute care hospital located at 1400 East County Line Road. With a vast array of surgical capabilities, maternity care, emergency room services and cardiovascular care, Community Hospital South provides an exceptional patient and family experience for the residents of southern Marion and Johnson Counties. Ranked among the nation’s highest-performing health systems and most integrated health care networks, Community Health Network has more than 90 sites of care and nearly 500 integrated physicians throughout central Indiana. This includes Community Hospitals East, North and South in Indianapolis and Community Hospital Anderson; The Indiana Heart Hospital, part of Community Heart and Vascular; Indiana Surgery Centers; Community Physicians of Indiana; Community Home Health Services; MedCheck walk-in care centers and MedCheck Express convenience clinics; employer health services; nursing homes; and other health care facilities. Community Health Network is committed to getting you well and back to your life. For more information about Community Health Network or to find a physician, call 800-777-7775 or visit



Courtney Jones
Media Relations
Community Hospital South

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