ST. LOUIS, MO, August 23, 2016 – 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 RehabilitationTM (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. ”

More information is available at

About Pritikin Programs
The Pritikin Program emphasizes exercise, a healthy mind-set, and an eating plan focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meat, nonfat dairy, and protein-rich plant foods like legumes, or beans. Today, the Pritikin Program is taught at the Pritikin Longevity Center, a health and wellness resort in Miami, Florida, and in hospital provided outpatient programs licensed in a number of states throughout the country. All Pritikin Programs are covered by Medicare for qualifying individuals. The medical conditions that qualify for Medicare reimbursement include heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, angioplasty, stable angina (chest pain), heart or heart-lung transplants, and heart valve repair or replacements. For more information, please visit

About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a health care organization serving seven counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, and Lenawee. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, and 133-bed St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea.  Combined, the five hospitals are licensed for 1,553 beds, have five outpatient health centers, six urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 13,400 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians.   SJMHS has annual operating revenues of about $1.9 billion and returns about $120 million to its communities annually through charity care and community benefit programs.

SJMHS is a member of Trinity Health, a leading Catholic health care system based in Livonia, Mich. Trinity Health operates in 22 states, employs about 97,000 people, has annual operating revenues of about $15.8 billion and assets of about $23.4 billion. Additionally, the organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs.

For more information on health services offered at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, please visit

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Jacolyn Gleason