We’ve been celebrating American Heart Month all February long but the week of 13-19 is especially noteworthy. It’s Cardiac Rehab week!

Naturally, this week is important to us and the seventy-two multi-disciplinary teams across the country who bring the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program to life across the country.

Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab’s comprehensive yet flexible learning model allows healthcare facilities to utilize their own staff to implement the program. Through our rapidly expanding network of partner hospitals and physician offices, our program empowers healthcare facilities to provide their patients with comprehensive, evidence-based lifestyle education in an outpatient setting. Through the facility’s medical expertise and a prescription for intensive cardiac rehab, patients have an opportunity to reduce future health risks and improve the quality of their lives.

In light of Cardiac Rehab week, we would like to shine a spotlight on a few of our colleagues from three different Pritikin ICR sites who are working along with us in our joint effort to heal hearts together.

Eduardo: South Texas Health System Heart (McAllen, TX)

Eduardo is a certified Exercise Physiologist at South Texas Health System Heart in McAllen, Texas. As part of the Pritikin ICR team, he enjoys teaching patients how to adopt a healthy lifestyle as part of a multi-disciplinary approach. Eduardo believes that having a comprehensive team with unique specialties improves patients’ overall care as all are involved in the care of the patient. He shared, "patients enjoy coming to our program…because we offer multiple forms of education that they wouldn’t receive in a traditional cardiac rehab”.

Eduardo believes that the work he and his fellow South Texas Health System Heart staff are doing has a positive ripple effect throughout the community. “The program in this area is very critical…not only are we providing education about heart health to one individual but by allowing family members to be part of the education, they at the same time are being informed.” His hope is that patients and caregivers who attend education sessions “will relay this information to their other loved ones”. In this way, his work with patients is amplified to improve cardiovascular health in the entire community!

Eduardo’s care of his patients does not end after they have completed their exercise sessions. As he shared, “My role in the Pritikin program is to not only create exercise programs for these patients but also try and be an advocate for the patient”. He goes beyond the scope of his role as he has even been known to assist patients with appointments, something that Exercise Physiologists do not always do. “I try and go the next mile while providing care to my patients.”

Samantha: North Idaho Cardiac Rehab (Ponderay, ID)

Samantha, a blond woman smiles at camera in this headshot.

Doing her part to make a difference in her Idaho community, Registered Dietitian, Samantha, shared that“working in the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab (program) has been a Dietitian dream job.” Samantha appreciates the opportunity to teach her North Idaho Cardiac Rehab patients“in a variety of ways including workshops, one-to-one, and skill-building workshops.”

Samantha also enjoys the amount of time each team member is able to spend with each patient going through the Pritikin ICR program, as the dedicated time “is the ideal way to help facilitate lifestyle changes.” Samantha believes that the more time spent with patients, the better. “I have up to 18 weeks of follow-up opportunities to track the progress my patients are having. The more time we spend with our patients as Dietitians, the better the success rates are of improving their health.” Samantha knows her contributions to her program are important. “Our patients truly appreciate the time we spend with them and letting them know how important their health is to us. “

Lynice: Renown Health (Reno, NV)

Lynice dressed in hiking gear poses next to her dog Ginger
Lynice and Ginger

Not only is Lynice a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator, but she is also Director of the Pritikin ICR program at Renown Health in Reno, Nevada. Lynice Anderson first started working with Pritikin ICR in 2016 when her program converted from a traditional cardiac rehab program to an Intensive Cardiac Rehab program. Lynice describes her 6-year relationship with Pritikin ICR as “a wonderful journey” during which her “program and the Pritikin team have grown together.” Over the years, she has appreciated the continued support saying, “Pritikin continues to be a terrific resource and assists us in our mission to provide the very best ICR experience possible to the folks entrusting us with their health.”

Lynice believes every patient achieves their own measure of success with the Pritikin ICR program. She has seen patients not only lose weight but increase their aerobic and functional capacity. Not only do Lynice and her staff teach the concepts in the Pritikin ICR program, but they also live them as well; “We all embrace lifestyle medicine not only professionally but in our personal lives.”

We here at Pritikin ICR appreciate the many team members like Eduardo, Samantha, and Lynice at our partner sites who are making a difference in patients’ lives each and every day. With their dedication and spirit, we will continue healing hearts together.