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Dr. Dean Ornish Program

For more than 30 years, Dr. Ornish and his colleagues have conducted research demonstrating that comprehensive changes in diet and lifestyle can slow, stop and even reverse heart disease. As one of only two sites in WV, CAMC offers both the Ornish Spectrum Program and the Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease.

Reversal Program:

The Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is a unique and innovative program that treats coronary artery disease, providing an alternative to conventional treatments that use invasive procedures such as bypasses, angioplasties and stents. It is also a great option for people with risk factors for heart disease, (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and others), as a means of prevention.

The Ornish Program has four components:

  • Improved physical conditioning through low impact aerobic exercise and strength training
  • Stress management techniques to help manage and reduce daily stress
  • A low-fat, whole foods nutrition plan (less than 10% of daily calories from fat)
  • Group support to enable participants to practice skills which decrease social isolation, depression and anxiety

Participants in the Ornish Program commit to the lifestyle change program and attendance for one year. Attendance at each session includes participating in exercise, stress management and group support. Also during each session, a wonderful chef prepares an evening meal that is shared on-site with the group. Though it is a one-year treatment program, the first 12 weeks are more intensive. As the year progresses, the amount of time committed to on-site sessions decrease. Outcomes such as weight, blood pressure, body fat and waist measurements, cholesterol and glucose levels, depression levels (and others) are assessed at baseline, 12 weeks and one year to evaluate participant progress and success. Following completion of the year-long program, ongoing support is available as needed from the Ornish team as well as the Charleston Area Ornish Connection, a self-directed community.

The Ornish Reversal Program is designed to help:  

  • People who are considering bypass, angioplasty or stents, but are seeking an option that may reduce the need for these procedures.
  • People who have previously experienced heart procedures and want to minimize the chances of having repeat procedures.
  • People with diabetes (who are considered to have the same risk level for heart disease as those who are have already been diagnosed with heart disease)
  • People with risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure,  high cholesterol, obesity or family history of heart disease

Our professional team works with primary care physicians and with specialists such as cardiologists to identify candidates for the Ornish Program.  Candidates are carefully screened to ensure that the program is right for them.  Participants who are in the program continue to be treated by their physician who will receive regular reports on their patients.

•·  Spectrum Program:

The Spectrum Program is a six-week education only program which can be tailored to suit almost anyone who wants to make healthy lifestyle changes. The Spectrum Program is based on Dr. Ornish's best-selling book, The Spectrum. During six weekly educational sessions, participants learn their place on the Spectrum of Health, related to nutrition, exercise, stress management and social support. This program also includes a baseline and 12 week assessment of measurements and labs.

The Spectrum Program is designed to help:

  • Anyone who is interested in making healthy lifestyle changes, especially those who may have risk factors for heart disease.
  • Personal history or family history of cancer

Yearly events:

For more information, call (304) 388-9411
OR e-mail or

  • Taste of Ornish Open House: March and October, annually
  • Reversal Program Groups beginning each January, May and September
    (Screening for Reversal groups begins three months prior to start date)
  • Spectrum Groups beginning each March, July and October 


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Our Mission: Striving to provide the best health care to every patient, every day.       © 2015 CAMC Health System, Inc.