NOTeD: Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Soon in Over 100 Facilities

Tom Rifai, MD, FACP
The leadership team at Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program considers the Pritikin Program to be pioneers in the field of intensive cardiac rehab. It’s more than cardiac rehab. It’s lifestyle change training that helps patients lead a healthy life again. If you’ve had one of a number of cardiac diagnoses (heart attack, unstable angina, bypass surgery, congestive heart failure, etc) and want to learn more about intensive cardiac rehab programs, watch Dr. Tom’s NOTeD interview below with two leaders of one of the most successful ICR programs in the U.S.
9 people rowing in a long canoe in the fog

In this episode of NOTeD we bring you an interview with two leaders of the Medicare-approved Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR) comprehensive lifestyle education program – President Terry Rogers and Senior Director of Field Operations, Cindy Berner, MS, RD, LD.

As a former Associate Medical Director of their Longevity Center (formerly located in Aventura, Florida, the city in which I met my wife!), I am a big fan of — and no stranger to — Pritikin. I had a chance to live and teach Pritikin and care for their patients medically. I worked with and learned from some amazingly smart colleagues, many of whom are still my friends today.

Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program Surpassing the 100 Mark

The Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program provides a major lifestyle medicine driven service, rooted in three pillars: (1) a heart-healthy, plant predominant, minimally processed approach to eating (that can easily accommodate completely plant-based as well); (2) safe and effective exercise; and (3) a healthy mindset. The Pritikin ICR program has earned its place here on NOTeD and will soon be available at over 100 hospital & physician office based cardiac rehabs throughout the United States. Now THAT is news!

We discuss the evolution of the Pritikin ICR program, from the truest origins driven by founder Nathan Pritikin, to the experience at their residential Pritikin Longevity Center (now located in Miami, Florida) to a fully operational and scalable intensive cardiac rehab program for patients who have had a recent heart attack, coronary artery bypass, heart failure, heart valve repair or replacement, chronic stable angina, coronary angioplasty or stenting, and heart or heart-lung transplant.

Pritikin Model: Cardiac Rehab Meets Lifestyle Medicine

The Pritikin model offers two advantages: more time spent with patients, and more tools – equipping providers and staff in their own facilities with the tools they need to offer patients optimum care. Pritikin is provider friendly – working with existing cardiac rehab models, and patient friendly – assisting patients in a multi-dimentional way: offering videos, group workshops, cooking schools and one-on-one consults. It’s cardiac rehab that adds lifestyle medicine to its core philosophy for maximum results.

The Pritikin and Ornish ICR programs have both been highlighted here at NOTeD and are the first two cardiac rehab programs ever to be approved by Medicare, resulting from robust evidence of their effectiveness. As you will see Terry discuss in the video, the Pritikin ICR programs, now available throughout the U.S., are referenceable to any future cardiac rehab programs that are considering an upgrade from standard cardiac rehabilitation to intensive cardiac rehabilitation.

Last but not least, we learn a little bit behind the personal lives of Cindy and Terry, who are two wonderful people providing  us with great and inspiring information in this episode of NOTeD. Enjoy!