Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Offers First Pritikin Cardiac Rehab Program in Michigan


“The Pritikin program has proven to have very successful outcomes for patients, and we are thrilled to bring this program to Michigan as a means to improve the health and wellness of our community,” says Dave Brooks, president of St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor and Livingston hospitals.

People who have suffered heart attacks or had angioplasty and stents procedures, bypass or valve surgery, angina, or cardiac transplant are eligible for the program and can start immediately following a cardiovascular event.

The three to 12 week custom-designed program uses 72 intensive cardiac rehab sessions, instead of the conventional 36 sessions, that include a mix of exercise, individual education and group workshops facilitated by St. Joseph’s exercise physiologists, heart-healthy cooking classes, and instruction on healthy food shopping and meal planning.

“Most treatment for cardiovascular coronary disease has involved surgical interventions and there is no question that they have helped many people through the years,” says Dr. Frank Smith, medical director of Intensive Cardiac Rehab at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. “However, with 80 percent of cardiology conditions being lifestyle-related, cardiac rehab addresses those underlying lifestyle components such as nutrition and exercise to really impact a patient’s long-term health.”

The Michigan Heart and Vascular Institute will undergo renovations that will double its space to accommodate a gym and larger classrooms with a demonstration kitchen for the program.

St. Joseph Mercy Health System serves seven counties in southeast Michigan including Livingston, Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Jackson, and Lenawee. The system, which is a member of Livonia-based Trinity Health, employs more than 13,400 people and has annual operating revenues of about $1.9 billion. 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.