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Pritikin ICR collaborates with Saint Joseph Mercy Health System to bring advanced cardiovascular treatment to patients

In an effort to combat the state's leading cause of death, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, a member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, recently launched the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation™ (ICR) program for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.

St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor is the first hospital in Michigan to begin offering an Intensive Cardiac Rehab program, a comprehensive approach to caring for and treating cardiovascular disease.

The decision by Saint Joseph Mercy Health System means that patients who have suffered from one of six qualifying cardiovascular events can be enrolled in the Pritikin ICR program at the St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital.

The Pritikin ICR program is one of only two Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation programs being offered to hospitals in the United States. Patients can attend 72 sessions, providing them with more resources and education to carry out a healthy lifestyle than they receive in ordinary Cardiac Rehab (CR), which is typically 36 sessions primarily focused on exercise.

Pritikin ICR is based on the Pritikin lifestyle program, which focuses on the role that healthy eating, regular exercise and a healthy mindset have on empowering patients to take control of their health.

Leading medical journals have published more than 100 peer-reviewed studies that have validated the Pritikin lifestyle program's efficacy in addressing heart disease, as well as a variety of other health conditions and diseases.

"The Pritikin ICR program takes a comprehensive approach to cardiovascular care to help improve health outcomes for patients who have recently suffered a cardiovascular complication," said Bob Franceschelli, President of St. Louis-based Pritikin ICR.

"Each hospital that collaborates with Pritikin ICR will now offer fully-integrated nutritional courses, exercise classes, counseling and group workshops dedicated to teaching patients how to foster a healthy lifestyle for years to come."

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Michigan's death rate from the disease is even higher than the country average, ranking ninth out of the fifty states.

 By strategically working with a clinically-proven program, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor now can provide a more comprehensive cardiac rehab option for patients who are at high risk for a cardiovascular event.

"St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor hospital is among the top cardiovascular hospitals in the country, and we're excited to be able to extend our offerings," said Dave Brooks, President of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals. "The program's established trusted methods and attention to individual needs will provide more opportunity for patients to live a healthier life and take action against cardiovascular disease."

The well-rounded Pritikin ICR sessions facilitated by St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor personnel will offer a wide-spectrum approach that features targeted care for each patient, including education, healthy cooking classes in an onsite kitchen, instruction on healthy food shopping and meal planning, as well as guidance for a continued healthy mindset and lifestyle.

Dr. Frank Smith, Medical Director of Intensive Cardiac Rehab at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, stated, "A large component of cardiovascular health depends on a patient's lifestyle. Our patients will be taught to incorporate the three pillars of the Pritikin ICR program into their daily lives – healthy diet, regular exercise and a healthy mindset. "