Published on November 14, 2017

Northlanders Can Breathe Easier with Access to a Certified Pulmonary Rehab Program

Pulmonary Rehab Certification LogoNorth Kansas City Hospital announced the three-year certification of its pulmonary rehabilitation program by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. NKCH is the only hospital in the Northland with an AACVPR-certified pulmonary rehab program. AACVPR-certified programs are recognized as leaders in the field of cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation because they offer the most advanced practices available.

“Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the third leading cause of death in both Clay and Platte Counties,” explains Gary Carter, MD, chief medical officer at NKCH. “That’s why this program is so important. Pulmonary rehab helps decrease patients’ sudden worsening of COPD symptoms which can lead to hospitalization.”

“Our team is honored to receive this recognition,” said Tedd Walsh, supervisor of the cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs at NKCH. “To achieve certification for our pulmonary rehab program we had to demonstrate how we are improving patient outcomes across the cardiopulmonary spectrum of care.” The NKCH pulmonary rehabilitation team participated in an application process that required extensive documentation of the program’s practices.

Cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation programs are designed to help people with cardiovascular problems, such as heart attacks and coronary artery bypass graft surgery and pulmonary problems, such as COPD, recover faster and improve their quality of life. Both programs include exercise, education, counseling, and support for patients and their families.

AACVPR Program Certification is the only peer-review accreditation process designed to review individual programs for adherence to standards and guidelines developed and published by AACVPR and other professional societies. Each program is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee and Certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors.

About North Kansas City Hospital and Meritas Health

For more than half a century, North Kansas City Hospital has been the Northland’s preferred healthcare provider. The hospital serves the community with 451 licensed beds, more than 3,000 employees, and 492 physicians representing 46 medical specialties. From a Level III neonatal intensive care unit to home health and hospice services, NKCH provides a lifetime of care.

NKCH offers award-winning cardiovascular and orthopedic programs. The hospital's oncology partnership with The University of Kansas Cancer Center provides patients access to clinical trials only available at the nation’s leading cancer centers.

Through its Meritas Health subsidiary, North Kansas City Hospital offers the largest network of physician practices in the Northland, with more than 140 physicians and 30 advanced practitioners in 30 convenient locations, including express care clinics in the Liberty, Gladstone and 64th Street Hy-Vee stores.

The hospital’s mission, vision and values reflect a strong commitment to the health and well-being of the Northland community and beyond. Last year, NKCH sponsored 60 charitable and community organizations and served more than 24,000 people through its dynamic Community Health & Wellness programs. And, it recently became the first hospital in Kansas City to offer a zero-percent financing option to help patients manage their medical expenses.


Founded in 1985, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the mission of reducing morbidity, mortality and disability from cardiovascular and pulmonary disease through education, prevention, rehabilitation, research and disease management. Central to the core mission is improvement in quality of life for patients and their families.