John Schmidt lost 34 pounds, his blood pressure dropped 20 points, and his total cholesterol dropped 100 points.

The Kennewick man accomplished those health goals through the eight-week Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP), a program sponsored by Kadlec Medical Center and WSU Tri-Cities.

CHIP teaches how lifestyle changes can lead to significant health improvements. It’s designed for those struggling with — or wanting to prevent — heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and adult-onset diabetes.

A free one-hour information session is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at the Kadlec Medical Center CardioPulmonary Rehab Department, 550 Gage Blvd, Richland.

The spring session of CHIP starts at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30, then meets at 7 p.m. Jan. 31 and every Tuesday and Thursday for the following six weeks. Each class is two hours.
There is an early registration discount until Jan. 18. Cost is $300 per person or $425 for a couple. To register, call Kadlec at 942-2600.

Schmidt and his wife, Julie, said the CHIP lifestyle was surprisingly easy to follow.

“CHIP helps you with cravings. I was a butter addict and a salt addict,”
said Julie Schimdt, 55. She lost 25 pounds and her blood pressure dropped 15 points during the two months. She also figures she saves about 30 percent on her shopping bill by avoiding processed foods.

There are about 500 CHIP program graduates in the Tri-Cities region and 40,000 graduates worldwide. See for more details.