ROCK ISLAND, Ill–UnityPoint Health – Trinity Heart Center is launching a new celebration for its Pritikin Cardiac Rehab Patients of the Year to recognize heart event survivors. This award recognizes individuals for their incredible progress after suffering a heart event.
UnityPoint Health – Trinity is proud to honor the following people as the inaugural Pritikin Cardiac Rehab Patients of the Year to recognize their hard work, determination and commitment to heart health:
Paula Ploen, from Rock Island, Illinois was referred by her cardiologist to the Pritikin program at Trinity in December 2021 after having multiple stents inserted into her heart. When she began the program, Paula struggled to exercise for as little as eight minutes. She can now exercise for more than 45 minutes and has dramatically increased her energy levels. Upon graduating from the program in March, Paula had lost 11 pounds, improved her blood pressure to ideal target levels and increased her exercise capacity by more than 50%. The healthy mindset workshops helped change her
outlook to let her feel normal and in charge of her life again. Paula credits the program for changing her life and teaching her the skills to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Anna McKay, from Moline, Illinois, was referred to the Pritikin program at Trinity by her cardiac surgeon after a heart valve replacement in September 2021. Initially she had to deal with restrictions while recovering from surgery, but to her surprise she quickly progressed to working hard on the treadmill. At graduation, she had lost 10 pounds, improved her blood pressure to ideal target levels, and increased her fitness level by 65%. Anna was excited about what she learned about heart healthy habits and a healthy mindset she introduced the healthy lifestyle to her family members,
and it worked. The nutritional changes significantly improved the health of her family members. It is very satisfying to Anna that she can follow the same eating plan with her family members. She’s even staying active at work by taking breaks to climb the stairs. Anna was very thankful for the encouragement she received from the staff and says it
was a rewarding experience going through the Intensive Cardiac Rehab program.
Randy Frick, from Alexis, Illinois, was referred by his cardiologist to the Pritikin program at Trinity after suffering a heart attack in November 2021. Randy was very weak and struggled to walk without becoming short of breath. Randy used the knowledge he gained in the program to change his exercise and diet habits. It changed his life. The
progress was unbelievable to Randy and his cardiologist. Randy lost 20 pounds, attained ideal target blood pressure and can perform his work duties without running out of breath. He continues to improve and get stronger every day. He credits the guidance and compassion from the staff for pushing him and giving him the confidence to do more.
“Every person who walks through that door is an inspiration – or hope – to others who may be worried about where to start after a heart health scare,” says Dan Saskowski, manager of Trinity’s Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab (ICR) program. “We’re here to reassure you and take the guess work out of how best to build the tools and habits you need to transform your health and life.”
“We’re so blessed to walk beside people who are making tremendous strides toward a healthier heart,” says Kathy Pulley, director of Cardiology services. “As the only intensive cardiac rehab program in the area, we’re honored those patients trust Trinity with their care.”
Trinity Heart Center is the only provider in the area to offer the Pritikin ICR program. The experts at Trinity use the program to take a proactive approach to prevention and treatment of heart disease. It teaches participants how to foster an overall healthy lifestyle through heart healthy diet, regular exercise and a healthy mindset. Since 2018, UnityPoint Health – Trinity has served approximately 1,200 patients through the Pritikin ICR program. They have seen
incredible and life-changing results in their journey to a more heart-healthy life. If you’d like to learn more about the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program at UnityPoint Health – Trinity, visit unitypoint.org, or call 309-779-5340.