July 2012 Associate of the Month
Rich Austin was born and raised in Philadelphia. His family moved to Lansdale when he was 13 years old. He graduated from North Penn High School and earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from East Stroudsburg University.
Following his junior year at East Stroudsburg, Rich completed a summer internship in Cardiac Rehab at Doylestown Hospital. He returned to East Stroudsburg for a Master's in Cardiac Rehab. He joined Doylestown Hospital full time in 2005.
As a therapist in Cardiac Rehab, Rich and his fellow associates care for patients who have had a heart event such as a heart attack, stent placement, open-heart surgery, etc. Patients follow a prescribed exercise program. It starts early on in The Heart Institute, as Rich helps post-surgery patients take their first steps as they begin to recover. Outpatient rehab is the next phase, and patients are closely monitored as they exercise. Finally, patients continue on a maintenance program either here at the hospital or at the Health & Wellness Center in Warrington.
Rich provides patients with a good deal of education on risk factors for heart disease, and answers their questions about exercise and healthy diet. "I like interacting with the patients," says Rich. "That's my passion." Over the 12 weeks of the rehab program, Rich receives a lot of feedback from the patients, and enjoys seeing their progress and helping them with challenges. "We want to make this a supportive place for them," he says. Rich says the environment in the department is "like a family atmosphere. We all help each other out. It's a pretty special thing."
Clinical Manager of Cardiac Rehab David Martens, MS, CES, says: "Rich has exceptional people skills. Patients like him, trust and respect him. He makes time fly by both for the patient and staff. He is great with patients in terms of getting their risk factor concerns turned around. He is able to do a lot of work and at the same time he makes the work environment enjoyable.
Rich has a knack for finding small detailed things about people and he uses this skill with the job by letting staff/cardiologists know when he thinks something should be addressed or discussed. Rich is very genuine, kind and sincere - he is a great role model. I have seen Rich progress from a college intern to an associate, from being single to married to having two children, and Rich is growing into the person you want to be like."
Rich and his wife, Kelly, have two sons, Shane, 3, and Brody, 1. They live in Harleysville. The family is involved with their church, they enjoy exercising and are "aspiring campers."
Congratulations to an exceptional Associate!