Two Rivers Y hopes to revive Pulse Program

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A longtime program in Moline to help cardiac patients is now on life support itself.

Hospital cuts are forcing the Pulse Program to find new funding. That's why Two Rivers Y is stepping up to find a solution.

The Pulse Program is like a heartbeat of the community on Friday.

"We're one big family," said Howard Killian, 77.

Inside Two Rivers Y, more than 300 participants like Killian learn how to recover from or prevent heart problems.

"It's life support for most of them," he said.

It's really cardiac fitness for the body and mind.

"It helps me maintain the level that I need to survive," he said.

But across the board cuts at Genesis Health System will force changes.

"It's painful," said Flo Spyro, senior vice president of operations for Genesis. "They're difficult decisions that have to be made."

13 health professionals will leave the Pulse Program and the end of July. Funding will expire in October.

"We'll be visiting with more physicians in regards to their expectations to try to ensure that we're meeting the needs of the population," she said.

That's one reason Two Rivers Y is stepping up to find a solution.

"This is a huge part of the heart of the Y," said Chelsey Bowermaster, the Y's health lifestyles director.

Two Rivers Y is working closely with Genesis to make an effective transition. It will be a transition aimed at keeping the program healthy and active.

They want to make sure that their devoted clients have a place to go. Focus groups will start to map out the future next week.

"It may not look identical in the transition," Bowermaster continued. "But we're going to have an accredited, well-run cardiac phase three and phase four program."

Clients like Killian desperately want the program to continue.

"We're hanging out on a limb," he said.

Killian, who has attended the program for four years, is grateful for Y support but troubled about the future.

"Just not knowing what it's going to look like in six months is bothering a lot of people," he said.

Bowermaster hopes the upcoming sessions will create some peace during anxious times.

"Ultimately, the Y is for the community," she concluded. "We just want to see that they maintain their health."

They hope to maintain a heartbeat for the Pulse Program.