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This guideline is dedicated to our wonderful panel member, the late Helen Gaston. Helen was a special person, and her loss is inestimable. As a participant in cardiac rehabilitation services, Helen was a believer in the value of cardiac rehabilitation. She served as an inspiration to hundreds of patients involved in cardiac rehabilitation.
Helen provided culturally sensitive insight as both an educator and a consumer of cardiac rehabilitation services. Her contributions to the development of this Clinical Practice Guideline, although tragically cut short, were of unique and invaluable benefit.
This Clinical Practice Guideline is the culmination of commitment, expertise, and concern on the part of many individuals.
The panel appreciates the steadfast support and guidance provided by Carole Hudgings, PhD, RN, the AHCPR project officer for most of the guideline development, and by Ernestine W. Murray, RN, MAS, the subsequent project officer.
George Sopko, MD, of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, provided invaluable clinical and administrative expertise, encouragement, and support to the panel throughout the deliberation and decisionmaking process.
The methodologist for this guideline, Steven H. Woolf, MD, MPH, educated the panel in the essentials of guideline development. His knowledge was essential in establishing the guideline process during the project's first year.
The panel also acknowledges the understanding and support of Pat Comoss, RN, who served as liaison on behalf of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. She carried out her demanding responsibilities with exceptional patience, grace, and understanding.
The invaluable role of the peer reviewers is also acknowledged. Their clear and detailed critical review of the guideline document, on two separate occasions, greatly enhanced the final product.
The panel is particularly grateful to the untiring dedication of the project office staff: Dorothy B. Seidman, Julie Piech, and Mariette Chagnon, MS.