ROCKFORD, Illinois – SwedishAmerican is pleased to offer a new Intensive Cardiac Rehab program using the Pritikin ICR™ (Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation) Program to treat patients with cardiovascular disease. SwedishAmerican is the fourth health system in the state of Illinois and first in the Rockford area to adopt the program.

“The Pritikin program has proven to be very successful for patients at high risk for a cardiovascular event, and we are proud to bring this program to Rockford to improve the health and wellness of our local community,” said Shannon Stubbs, director of physical medicine and rehabilitation services at SwedishAmerican.

The Pritikin program is based on the Pritikin lifestyle program, which focuses on the role of healthy eating, regular exercise and a healthy mind-set. The Medicare-approved evidence-based rehab program helps reduce risk factors for those who have experienced a serious heart event by implementing lifestyle changes that promote long-term health and well-being.

Numerous studies have documented the Pritikin program’s ability to lower blood cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure and blood sugar control and reduce other lifestyle-related risk factors.

Patients who have suffered from one of six qualifying cardiovascular events, including heart attack, angioplasty and stents, bypass or valve surgery, angina/chest pain, congestive heart failure or cardiac transplant, can be enrolled at SwedishAmerican in the Pritikin ICR program–one of nearly 50 Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation programs currently offered across the United States.

Patients can begin the program immediately following a heart event and the program is easily adapted to be completed in 12 to 18 weeks, depending on the patient’s availability. The 72-session Intensive Cardiac Rehab enhances conventional 36-session cardiac rehab, enabling a more comprehensive series of exercise, nutrition and stress management sessions for improved outcomes.

The sessions offer a mix of exercise, individual education and group workshops facilitated by SwedishAmerican’s exercise physiologists and nutritionists, including expanded heart- healthy cooking classes and instruction on healthy food shopping and meal planning. The program is custom-designed to fit each individual’s needs with personal counseling to reinforce lecture sessions, provide coaching and track progress.

“Pritikin is perfectly aligned with SwedishAmerican’s mission and vision to provide patient-centered care,” said Cindy Berner, the Senior Director of Field Operations for Pritikin ICR LLC. “The Pritikin program is a powerful tool to which cardiologists to refer their patients. We want people ready to change their lives. We want to help patients embrace progress.”

The program is now accepting patients. For more information, please contact the SwedishAmerican Cardiac Rehab Department at 779-696-5863.

About SwedishAmerican:

A division of UW Health, SwedishAmerican is dedicated to providing excellence in healthcare and compassionate care to the community. The organization serves residents of 12 counties in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through a dedicated and caring staff, a major acute care hospital and a free-standing outpatient cancer center in Rockford, a medical center in Belvidere, a network of 30 primary care and multi-specialty clinics, and the region’s largest home healthcare agency. Additionally, SwedishAmerican has achieved Magnet® recognition as a reflection of its nursing professionalism, teamwork and superiority in patient care.

About Pritikin:

The Pritikin Program has been taught for over 40 years at the Pritikin Longevity Center. With more than 100 peer-reviewed, published scientific studies backing its efficacy, the Pritikin Program is approved for reimbursement under the Intensive Cardiac Rehab (ICR) CMS benefit class. With twice the number of Medicare-covered sessions as traditional cardiac rehab (72 instead of 36), Pritikin offers a unique lifestyle education program which includes medically-supervised exercise, nutrition education, cooking lessons, and behavioral skills workshops.  Qualifying events for Pritikin ICR are the same as traditional cardiac rehab, and include: heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty, stable angina (chest pain), heart or heart-lung transplants, heart valve repair or replacements, and chronic heart failure. For more information, please visit www.pritikinicr.com.