West Bend, Wis. — St. Joseph’s Hospital, West Bend, has become the first in Wisconsin to offer an Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Intensive cardiac rehabilitation (ICR) differs from traditional cardiac rehab, which the hospital has offered since 1991, in that eligible patients can attend up to 72 rehab sessions compared to 36 sessions in cardiac rehab, and it provides more opportunity for patients to learn lifestyle modifications to develop long-term cardiac wellness.
The hospital’s ICR builds on traditional cardiac rehabilitation by offering more education and nutritional workshops, in addition to heart-healthy exercise. The program follows three key pillars — regular exercise, healthy eating and a healthy mindset. By developing these skills through ICR, patients learn how to foster an overall healthy lifestyle that leads to a healthy heart and improved quality of life.
Similar to traditional cardiac rehabilitation, a physician referral following a qualifying diagnosis is needed to start ICR, including angioplasty, coronary artery bypass grafting, cardiac stent placement, chronic stable angina, myocardial infarction, cardiac transplant or valve surgery.
“Our Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program gives appropriate patients a more comprehensive approach to their cardiac care,” said Dr. Kevin Cohoon, cardiologist and director of heart and vascular wellness. “It’s a powerful tool for us to offer our patients who are in a strong position to make a dramatic change to their cardiac health. It’s a tremendous benefit to our West Bend-area community.”
The Froedtert & MCW health network has partnered with Pritikin ICR to offer the program. The Pritikin Program is a lifestyle approach to reducing risk factors associated with chronic diseases. It has been the subject of more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific studies and taught to more than 100,000 people for over 35 years.
The Froedtert & MCW health network plans to implement the ICR program at additional locations, as well.