Couple Weds after Meeting at SVMC's Cardiac Rehab Program

August 25, 2016

Bennington, VT—August 25, 2016—Patients come to Cardiac Rehab at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center to rebuild their heart muscle, literally. One couple found that Cardiac Rehab can also exercise their figurative heart muscles, too.

Ray Merriam, of Bennington, had a heart attack in 2010. He recovered with help of Cardiac Rehab, and has been coming to the phase 3 maintenance portion of the program since 2011. He had never been married.

Mary Jones, of Hoosick Falls, had a heart attack 2005. She completed cardiac rehabilitation as a part of her recovery, as well. After a regular appointment with her cardiologist Dr. Scott Rogge, she was inspired to resume the phase 3 part of the program in April 2015. She had been widowed for 30 years.

"I noticed her right away,” Merriam said. “But it took me a couple months to talk to her. I am kind of shy. In February, I asked her out."

The couple fell in love. Their wedding was Saturday, August 20 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls. A reception was held at the Mount Anthony Country Club.

Patricia Ryan, RN, director of the Cardiac Rehabilitation program commented, "It couldn't happen to nicer people. We are all just so happy for them."

About SVHC:

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC’s providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. SVHC includes the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care facility; the SVHC Foundation; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital. SVMC’s services include an emergency department staffed by physicians each of whom is board certified in emergency medicine; the Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, which is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer and managed by Dartmouth-Hitchcock; and a fully digital imaging department. SVMC also includes 19 primary and specialty care practices with offices in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, West Dover, and Wilmington, VT. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is the state’s first Magnet Center for Nursing Excellence, a distinction it has held since 2002. To learn more, visit