Ornish Lifestyle Medicine (Intensive Cardiac Rehab)

For more than 37 years, Dr. Dean Ornish and his colleagues have conducted research demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes can prevent, slow, stop and even reverse heart disease. CAMC is proud to offer Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease  (Ornish Lifestyle MedicineTM).

Dr. Dean Ornish Program

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine (Intensive Cardiac Rehab)

Dr. Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease at CAMC is a unique, innovative and scientifically proven 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 prevention option for people with risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and others.

Our certified clinical team guides program participants through an experiential journey consisting of four program elements:

  • Exercise: Participate in low impact aerobic exercise and strength training, personalized to an individual’s ability.
  • Stress Management: Learn techniques to help manage and cope with daily stress.
  • Nutrition: Develop a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based eating plan (less than 10% of daily calories from fat).
  • Group Support: Connect with other program participants, experience emotional support throughout the program, and practice skills which decrease social isolation, depression and anxiety.

Participants complete the program in a small, consistent group of other program members. Each program group can accommodate approximately 8-15 individuals. Participants in this outpatient program commit to the program guidelines and attendance for all 18 program sessions (approx. 9 weeks). Attendance at each 4-hour session includes participating in one hour of exercise, one hour of stress management, one hour of group support and one hour of an Ornish Lifestyle Medicine-approved nutritious meal and lecture. During each session, a trained chef prepares an evening meal that is shared onsite with the group.

Outcomes such as weight, blood pressure, body fat and waist measurements, cholesterol and glucose levels, depression levels (and others) are assessed at initial enrollment in the program, at program completion and again at one year to evaluate participant progress and success. Following completion of the program, ongoing support is available as needed from the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine team as well as the Charleston Area Ornish Connection, a self-directed community.

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine 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 experienced and professional team works with primary care physicians and specialists, such as cardiologists, to identify candidates for the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. 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 primary physician who will receive regular reports on their patients. 

Enroll in Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

CAMC is currently enrolling qualified participants in Dr. Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. To determine whether you may be eligible for Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at CAMC or for more information, call (304) 388-9411 or e-mail carolyn.miller@camc.org or kelly.anderson@camc.org.

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