FirstHealth’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs Certified by Industry Leader

FirstHealth Cardiac Rehabilitation-Pinehurst staff: Kelly Barnes, Kay Maria Green, Melissa Stewart, Payton Muoio, Belinda Britt and Amy Utter.


PINEHURST, N.C.—FirstHealth of the Carolinas is proud to announce the certification of its cardiac rehabilitation programs by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). This certification is recognition of FirstHealth’s longstanding commitment to improving the quality of life of patients by enhancing standards of care.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at FirstHealth is dedicated to helping patients with heart disease adopt a healthier lifestyle. The program includes education, counseling and exercise in a friendly environment. Participants who attend regular classes develop a camaraderie that is supportive and helps the healing process.

FirstHealth offers cardiac rehabilitation at FirstHealth Fitness in Pinehurst, Rockingham and Sanford.  Melissa Stewart, R.N., serves as clinical director for all three cardiac rehab programs.  

“Finding a way back to health following a heart event can be extremely challenging for patients, as there is a level of fear in starting an exercise program,” said Stewart.  “Our staff is invested in each patient’s journey through exercise and education.  Our program is designed to help patients recover quicker and with more confidence resulting in an improved quality of life.”  

To earn accreditation, FirstHealth’s cardiac rehabilitation program participated in an application process that requires extensive documentation of the program’s practices. 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 related professional societies. Each program’s application is reviewed by the AACVPR Program Certification Committee, and certification is awarded by the AACVPR Board of Directors. 

In 2018, AACVPR moved to an outcomes-based process with performance measurements that represent more meaningful outcomes. Therefore, AACVPR-certified programs are leaders in the cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation field because they offer the most advanced practices available and have proven track records of high quality patient care. AACVPR Program Certification is valid for three years.

FirstHealth Cardiac Rehabilitation locations:

FirstHealth Fitness-Pinehurst 

170 Memorial Drive in Pinehurst

(910) 715-1886  

FirstHealth Fitness-Richmond 

120 Richmond Memorial Drive, Rockingham

(910) 417-4053 

FirstHealth Fitness-Sanford 

2925 Beechtree Drive, Sanford

(919) 756-3066

For more information about FirstHealth heart services, visit