You can find Bob Ehmke (center) exercising at least three times a week at Ottumwa Regional Health Center, where he participates in a Cardiac Rehab program. In fact, Bob is so diligent in following his prescribed exercise schedule, he was recently named the hospital’s Cardiac Patient of the Year. “It was a big surprise,” Bob says. “Especially when you consider that I hate to exercise.”

Bob credits Jeff Blegen (left) and Leslie Heemsbergen (right) for giving him the ongoing motivation he needs to stay with the program. “They are both great people to work with and very inspiring,” Bob says. “Jeff and Leslie are very thorough and organized in presenting the program, and they really take a personal interest in each of their patients. I’ve been to cardiac rehab programs before, but this time it really took thanks to them.”

Jeff and Leslie have also inspired Bob to change his diet. “There’s no salt in our house,” Bob says. “And I’ve seriously cut back on how much beef I eat, which is really hard for an Iowa farm boy like me. I’ve made a lifetime commitment to healthy habits. Thanks to the Cardiac Rehab program at Ottumwa Regional Health Center, I know I’m going to add many more years to my life. But I still don’t like to exercise.”