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Cardiac Rehab program supports patients as they regain their strength

Cardiac Rehab program supports patients as they regain their strength
The Carle Health cardiac rehab program continues to evolve how it serves the needs of patients. Bringing individualized care directly to those looking to regain their health is a priority for the team. One way the program is advancing is by implementing Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab (ICR) into the program.

The Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program is a Medicare-approved program that provides cardiac rehab programs and their patients with tools like meal planners, personalized exercise guides and videos to watch at home.

“We now are one of only 200 facilities in the country to offer a Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program,” said Cory Fanning, MS, CEP, Supervisor, Cardiac Rehab. “What that means is that, along with the exercise portion of cardiac rehab, eligible patients are now able to attend live cooking classes with a registered dietitian, among other things.”

Patients are also able to have one-on-one consultations with a registered dietitian and access to interactive workshops on nutrition, stress management, goal setting and exercise techniques.

Data has shown patients who attend the ICR program experience a reduction in their systolic blood pressure and triglyceride levels. They also experience greater weight loss than with a traditional cardiac rehab program. “They have been shown to have a higher quality of life post cardiac event as well,” said Fanning.
Patients experiencing a qualifying cardiac event or diagnosis for the cardiac rehab program are also eligible to begin the ICR program.

Fred Dale is one patient experiencing the benefits of the ICR cardiac rehab program.

“I thought I was having acid reflux because my esophagus was tightening,” said Dale. “Whenever I did a physical activity, usually after eating, I felt the tightening. I didn’t have chest numbness or the typical symptoms you would notice. When it occurred, I’d stop what I was doing, and it would go away.”

After experiencing symptoms for two months, Dale shared his concerns with his physician. During the first few seconds of a stress test, Dale felt the same tightness. His results revealed he had a 99 percent blockage in the left anterior descending artery. Dale received a stent to open the blockage and he entered the cardiac rehab program.

“Everything they have done with my experience there has been wonderful. I enjoy exercising but I feel like I’ve learned a lot,” said Dale. “Some of the exercises they’re doing or the rehab as far as the physical part I’ve done at a stronger pace.”

Dale said he feels like he has more stamina and energy since beginning the program due to the exercise aspect and the nutritional resources. For patients experiencing a similar condition, Dale believes sticking with the program would be an enormous benefit to their health.

“They’ve got a lot of good educational resources to help with your diet and physical activity. I’ve been very pleased. It’s a tremendous program,” said Dale. “My wife goes with me, and it’s been an education for her also. We’ve decided to change our eating habits and our lifestyle because of the knowledge we’ve gained.”

The ICR program will soon be available at Carle Heart and Vascular Institute Mattoon and Carle Danville Medical Office Center at The Riverfront by the end of this year.

For more information on cardiology services at Carle Health, visit

Categories: Redefining Healthcare

Tags: Cardiac, Cardiology, Exercise, Heart, Patient, Rehab, Rehabilitation, Vascular