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MUSC Health First in South Carolina to Offer Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program

Karlin Ferguson
November 29, 2023

Pritikin ICR Program in the Midlands enhancing recovery after a cardiac event or heart surgery

MUSC Health Columbia Medical Center Downtown (CMC-DT), Columbia Medical Center Northeast (CMC-NE) and Kershaw Medical Center (KMC) have expanded existing cardiac rehabilitation options by implementing the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab (ICR) Program.

These facilities are establishing themselves as the very first facilities in the state of South Carolina to offer the Pritikin Program.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a key step for patient recovery after a cardiac event or heart surgery, consisting of a comprehensive, medically supervised plan that promotes heart health through education, exercise and patient lifestyle changes. “We believe that embracing the Pritikin ICR program will not only enhance the rehabilitation experience for our patients but will also empower them to make sustainable lifestyle changes crucial for long-term heart health," said Michael Foster, M.D., cardiologist and Cardiac Rehab medical director for CMC-DT and CMC-NE.

"The Pritikin ICR sessions provide patients with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed, even after their cardiac rehab is complete. By tailoring the teaching model to each patient's individual needs, we can ensure they walk away with a full understanding of the changes they need to make," said Todd Alderson, M.D., cardiologist and Cardiac Rehab medical director for KMC. "While these changes may seem overwhelming at first, our whole team is here to help our patients through every step of their recovery."

Patients qualify for the Pritikin ICR if they have suffered from a cardiac event such as a heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, bypass or valve surgery, angioplasty and stent placements, heart transplant or chronic heart failure. Admission to this tailored program occurs on a rolling basis, so patients can begin as soon as they are cleared for exercise.

“The Pritikin ICR program has a track record of success in improving key cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight,” said Drew Hamer, MHA, marketing director of Outpatient Cardiopulmonary Services at MUSC Health in the Midlands. “This evidence-based approach emphasizes education and support, equipping patients with the tools and knowledge necessary to lead heart-healthy lives beyond the rehabilitation phase.”

The Pritikin Program enhances MUSC Health’s existing cardiac rehab program by offering potentially up to 72 sessions for patients instead of the typical rate of 36 sessions, depending on insurance, further improving patient outcomes. Despite a higher number of sessions, this plan often comes at a lower cost to patients and is covered by Medicare.

If you have questions about cardiac rehabilitation or your doctor recommends you or a loved one begin cardiac rehabilitation, call 803-256-5463 to speak with the cardiac rehabilitation team at MUSC Health in Columbia or Camden.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state's only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,200 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – and trains more than 900 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $300 million in research funds in fiscal year 2023, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding. Learn more about our academic programs.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 16 hospitals (includes owned or governing interest), with approximately 2,700 beds and four additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2023, for the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston the Number 1 hospital in South Carolina. Learn more about our patient services.

MUSC has a total enterprise annual operating budget of $5.9 billion. The nearly 26,000 MUSC family members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.