Dr. Dean Ornish Program
About the Program [top]
The Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is a unique and innovative approach to treating CAD (Coronary Artery Disease). The program is designed for people who want to prevent heart disease, reduce risks for developing heart disease, and learn lifestyle changes to help manage diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. The program is scientifically proven to reverse the progression of heart disease through lifestyle modification that includes moderate aerobic exercise, stress management techniques, group support and a low-fat whole-foods nutrition plan. Participants experience no increased health risks, and in fact, may reduce their need for invasive procedures. In addition, participants experience a reduction in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, loss of weight and body fat, decreased level of stress, and a reduction in the frequency and severity of angina (chest pain).
The UPMC Hamot Ornish Team [top]
the Heart Institute at UPMC Hamot is proud to be the region's only provider of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Our team consists of a staff dedicated to one thing: helping you achieve and maintain a heart healthy lifestyle. Members of the UPMC Hamot Ornish Team include:
- Program director
- Medical director
- Registered dietician
- Exercise physiologist
- Nurse case manager
- Stress management instructor
- Group support facilitator
- Executive chef
Program Components [top]
The Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is comprised of exercise, stress management, group support and nutrition. Let´s look at each component separately.
A key goal in the program is developing a regular pattern of exercise that leads to improved cardiovascular fitness. An exercise physiologist guides participants in this component. Recommended exercises include low-level to moderate walking, cycling and weight training.
There is a strong connection between physical health and mental fitness. Therefore, participants are taught techniques in stretching, breathing, relaxing, meditation and visualization to help reduce stress. Participants learn how to handle day-to-day pressures that often contribute to unhealthy changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
Led by licensed mental health professionals, regular group meetings teach participants how to improve communication among their family, friends, co-workers and each other. The meetings encourage a sense of caring and connectedness to the group.
The nutrition component focuses on plant-based, fat-free, oil-free cooking and eating. The low-fat, whole foods nutrition plan emphasizes whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Registered dieticians lead this aspect of the program. They lecture on weight management, grocery shopping and meal planning. They also provide helpful cooking demonstrations so participants learn ways to prepare quick and easy Ornish-friendly meals.
Is Dean Ornish for you? [top]
If you can answer yes to just one of the following questions, then the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease may be for you.
- Are you thinking about bypass surgery or angioplasty, but want an option that may reduce the need for those procedures?
- Have you already experienced one or more heart procedures and want to minimize the chances of another one?
- Have you been diagnosed with CAD?
- Do you have risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a strong family history of heart disease?
Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease Testimonials from Program Participants
"You can never underestimate the power to live and for the first time since 1993, I can do things I never dreamed of; but my biggest accomplishment was to be able to walk and exercise. Whether you are lying in a hospital bed or at home, you have to take the first step on the path to living your life to the fullest and let the awesome power of our journey within us begin. I am glad the Dean Ornish Program came into my life. I am so glad that I am "ALIVE". I am a new person who has a lot to live for. I recommend that everyone try this program — it really works."
"I had become passively resigned to not feeling well and not caring that my obesity was affecting my heart health and self image. It just seemed too hard to change and I had always failed at diets and lost interest with exercising. I came into the UPMC Hamot Ornish program, met the professional caring Ornish staff and learned the Ornish lifestyle. Within the first two weeks my health and well being started to change. In 12 weeks, I lost 21 pounds; my cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure are significantly lower. I am more mentally alert, less depressed and the weight continues to come off. I don´t have to think about it any more, it is just happening. The Ornish Program and staff are teaching me to understand my feelings, gain strength and power to manage my stress, to become physically strong in a safe moderate way and to eat healthy and not be hungry. The program is fun. My Ornish group is inspiring and courageous. I have new friendships. The staff is trusting, personable, knowledgeable and always helpful. Twelve weeks ago I dragged myself wearily along. Today, I have ambition and courage to reverse my poor health habits and it´s thrilling! I can´t wait to know me in twelve more weeks. I am just getting started. I am proud to be a part of the Ornish Community."
"I thank the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for saving my life. I lost my father and brother to heart disease when they were in their fifties. I was having trouble with shortness of breath and I was already on blood pressure and cholesterol medications. Within two weeks of the program, my shortness of breath went away. I knew then I had a new life style for the rest of my life. Our program in Erie, Pa has been blessed with a wonderful team of qualified therapists to teach us exercise, nutrition, group support and stress management. I have done all four on a regular day to day schedule and I feel healthier than I ever have in all of my sixty- one years. I thank my husband Jerry for supporting me 100%. He has chosen this new life style with me and also feels better than he ever has. We are both looking forward to our retirement next year."
"I resisted my doctor´s efforts to get into the Ornish program. However, my health continued to decline and it became a do-or-die situation. Even then, I joined the program reluctantly and with a great deal of trepidation — how could I not eat meat! No one though I could do it, including myself. After twelve weeks in the program, I not only hadn´t eaten meat, but I thoroughly came to enjoy eating healthy, no-fat food. The numbers don´t lie — my blood work was the best it had been in years! As a diabetic on large doses of insulin prior to entering the Ornish Program, I have since cut my insulin in half and I feel better than I have felt in years. It´s tough, but it works. I recommend it highly."
For more information on this program please contact Judy Miller at 814-877-5481 or by emailing email@example.com.