South Denver Cardiology becomes the first in Colorado to offer Pritikin ICR™ cardiac rehab program


South Denver Cardiology in Littleton will be the first in Colorado to offer patients an Intensive Cardiac Rehab program using the Pritikin ICR™ Program. The program is aimed at treating patients with cardiovascular disease.

Launching in April, the Pritikin program is based on the Pritikin lifestyle, focusing on healthy eating, regular exercise and a healthy mind-set. The Medicare-approved, evidence-based program is all about patient education, giving them a 72-session cardiac rehab program. Conventional cardiac rehab programs only offer patients up to 36 sessions.

Patients who have suffered from one of seven qualifying cardiovascular events, including heart attack, angioplasty and stents, bypass or valve surgery, angina/chest pain, or cardiac transplant, can be enrolled at South Denver Cardiology in the Pritikin ICR program.

Randy Cupps, business development manager with South Denver Cardiology Associates (SDCA), said they are glad to be offering the Pritikin program because it fits with the SDCA vision of offering a comprehensive approach to cardiac care.

“The patients do not need to figure it out on their own,” Cupps said. “Patients will receive the guidance from experts in the fields of exercise, medicine, nutrition and mental health in a structured education setting along with medically-supervised exercise. The patients will learn the skills and tools to apply to their everyday routine to reduce the risk of heart disease as well as many other chronic diseases such as diabetes.”

Cindy Berner, the senior director of nutrition and training for Pritikin ICR LLC, said it’s South Denver’ Cardiology’s commitment to helping patients live longer, happier lives that makes them perfect for the program.

“Pritikin is perfectly aligned with South Denver Cardiology’s mission and vision to provide patient-centered care,” she said. “The Pritikin program is a powerful tool for cardiologists to refer patients to. We want people ready to change their lives. We want to help patients embrace progress.”

The Pritikin program was developed through the efforts of Nathan Pritikan. In the 1970s, Nathan Pritikin, an inventor with a passion for nutrition and fitness, began testing his then-revolutionary theory that heart disease could be treated with lifestyle changes. He believed that diet and exercise, not drugs and surgery, should be the first line of defense against cardiovascular disease.

Numerous studies have documented the Pritikin program’s ability to lower blood cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure and blood sugar control and reduce other lifestyle-related risk factors.

Sessions at South Denver Cardiology will offer a mix of exercise, individual education and group workshops facilitated by South Denver Cardiology’s exercise physiologists, RNs, and registered dieticians, including expanded heart- healthy cooking classes and instruction on healthy food shopping and meal planning. The program is custom-designed to fit each individual’s needs with personal counseling to reinforce lecture sessions, provide coaching and track progress.

Berner said patients entering the Pritikin program aren’t just given some reading materials and basic information. Instead, they become part of a comprehensive care program developed by a multi-disciplinary team. In Pritikin, patients just aren’t given a list of healthy foods to eat. They are taught how to read labels, go grocery shopping, and how to incorporate ingredients into healthy, good-tasting meals.

“It’s really about helping patients understand barriers and how to overcome them and succeed,” Berner said.

With about 31 Pritikin programs operating nationwide, Berner said the success stories they hear can be remarkable.

“We had a patient in Arkansas who entered the program just wanting to go into a grocery store without needing a walker or electric cart,” Berner said. “After the program, she was doing way more and her qualify of life increased. Pritikin programs are truly helping patients turn their lives around.”

To learn more about Pritikin, call our Rehab staff at 303-715-2260 or visit


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