Stress testing bike for SLMHC cardiac rehabilitation program enhances patient experience

October 27, 2021 — Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre’s (SLMHC) Rehabilitation department and its cardiac rehabilitation program has benefitted from a key piece of equipment purchased by SLMHC Foundation.

The new specialized exercise bike will be used to test cardiac stress levels in patients and allows SLMHC’s rehabilitation team to expand service, aligning with the team’s commitment to quality health care; ultimately, improving patient experience.  

“By having the bike on-site we’re able to do the testing here, saving people from having to travel to Thunder Bay to have their test done,” said Jory Kettles, Manager of Rehabilitation and Chronic Disease Programs at SLMHC. “Patients being monitored for cardiac symptoms or who are at risk of a cardiac event are getting a higher level of quality, individualized care, and the clinical team is able to provide customized, patient-centred treatment. Certainly, from a departmental and an organizational perspective, we are very excited to have the bike as an option for our patients.”

Previously, the sole option for stress testing at SLMHC was the treadmill. The new, $7,000 bike is now an additional testing method. Its function assists patients with the inability to use a treadmill, allowing the individual being evaluated to achieve the required heart rate and level for complete and accurate stress testing.

Besides cardiac stress testing, Greg Rooke, kinesiologist of over five years with SLMHC, has been measuring heart function through various testing methods, including Holter monitor, electrocardiogram, pulmonary function and ankle brachial index for blood flow.

“A number of our patients would have trouble with the treadmill, especially walking uphill; where we wouldn’t be able to get them to the target heartrate for definitive testing,” explains Rooke, while talking about the benefit the bike offers to patients. “The bike is lower impact, so people with musculoskeletal issues can tolerate it better.”

Kettles is thankful that their team received this specialty bike, which will make a significant impact to services offered.

“We are certainly very appreciative of the Foundation for supplying us the equipment and of the public for supporting our Foundation,” said Kettles. “Anytime we are able to receive a new piece of equipment and are able to provide more service, or higher-quality service closer to home for our patients, it’s win-win all around.”

The rehabilitation team extends gratitude, and wants to continue to create public awareness about its cardiac rehabilitation program as it’s an important service at SLMHC.

Another perk of the new bike is that physician referrals to the program here in Sioux Lookout will save patients from travelling to Thunder Bay, allowing the SLMHC rehab team to offer effective, individualized exercise prescriptions.

“Now that we have our own bike for stress testing, we can offer the service to more patients locally and provide exercise prescriptions that will offer the most benefit. It will help our patients get back to the activities they enjoy, sooner,” said Rooke.

“This is a fantastic addition to our hospital’s rehabilitation department,” said Heather Lee, President and CEO of SLMHC. “Thank you to the Foundation and everyone who has supported the 50/50 draws. I want to thank our rehabilitation staff, too, for getting the new bike up and running. We can’t wait to hear how it positively impacts our patients’ experiences here at SLMHC.”

Learn more about SLMHC rehabilitation programs on the SLMHC website. To learn more about the Foundation and the important work they do for our region’s healthcare, as well as their ongoing monthly 50/50 draws, visit