Welcome to the Cardiac Fitness Center of St. Francis Hospital, The Heart Center - the only hospital-based program of its kind on Long Island.

The center is located on the park-like grounds of The DeMatteis Center for Cardiac Research and Education in Greenvale.

Located just off Northern Boulevard, its serene setting offers plenty of convenient and accessible parking.

Our popular fitness center enjoys more than 60,000 visits a year and recently celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Visitors are greeted by our friendly staff to make sure every exercise session feels like a welcome visit.

All of our cardiac fitness programs are medically supervised by a doctor, registered nurses and other healthcare professionals, who are always on site.

Our award-winning center is equipped with state-of-the-art exercise equipment.

The workout circuit includes bicycles, treadmills, weight lifting stations and an indoor walking track.

All patients are prescreened for an appropriate fitness plan to ensure all of their cardiac needs are met.

Everyone is continually monitored for their progress by our highly dedicated staff.

For more information on how you can step up to better health and how we can help, call (516) 629-2040.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Welcome to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation program at St. Francis Hospital. Our program, which is located at the DeMatteis Center, is dedicated to improving the lives of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and other lung diseases.

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Conditions Treated »
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Pulmonary Rehabilitation - An Overview

St. Francis Hospital’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation out-patient program helps patients with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, complicated asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases, live as fully and independently as possible.

Candidates for our physician-prescribed program include anyone whose activities are limited by chronic lung disease and shortness of breath. Our program may also be ideal for people with lung disorders who need conditioning in preparation for, or recovery after, different types of lung surgery.

We offer alternatives beyond medication, oxygen therapy and breathing aids. Our respiratory specialists work with patients and their doctors to develop an individualized plan to improve physical fitness and exercise tolerance to reduce hospitalization and to lessen the impact of lung disease.

Patients are provided with education (lectures, discussions and literature) and medically supervised exercise sessions in a supportive environment designed specifically for those with lung problems. The monitored exercise sessions (which included warm-up and cool down exercises, chest mobilization and monitored progressive cardiovascular exercises) are easily incorporated into their personal program. Family involvement is strongly welcomed and encouraged.

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Conditions Treated

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Complicated asthma
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Chronic lung disease

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Key Treatments

Pursed-lip breathing

With this exercise, inhaling in through the nose and exhaling out through pursed lips makes breathing easier. It can also help you regain control if you’re having trouble catching your breath.


The use of this exercise machine helps increase endurance, cardiovascular function and muscle strength. The machine also increases strength in the muscles that are used the most during walking.

Stationary bike

This exercise equipment can increase overall fitness; strength, endurance also builds leg muscles.

Arm ergometry

Described as a bicycle for the arms, patients use this machine to strengthen upper body muscles (forearms, chest, and back). Wattage/tension and repetitions are usually determined according to the patient’s ability.

Muscle training

These exercises include bench pressing, leg extension and lateral pull-downs. They helps build and restore the body around the lungs, so that the more muscle patients have to power the body, the more strength and effort they have to walk.

Stress management

Specialists help patients become aware of their anxiety levels, which is accompanied by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Patients are encouraged not to become anxious when they have shortness of breath.

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Contact the Department of Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Contact Phone
Patricia Berkoski, MS, RRT
Coordinator of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program
(516) 629-2435
Sue Palo, R.N., B.C., M.A.
Director of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation

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