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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the Dean Ornish Program:

1.  How does the Ornish Program work?
The Ornish Program works by addressing the lifestyle factors, or behaviors, that are proven risk factors for developing heart disease.  The objectives of the program are:

  • Reduction of blockages in heart arteries
  • Improvement in blood flow through the heart
  • Reduction in chest pain (angina)
  • Reduction in cholesterol levels
  • Improvement in exercise capacity, sense of well-being, and satisfaction with life. 

2.  Is the Ornish Program a fad or is it based on scientific fact?
The Ornish Program is the result of more than 30 years of research.   The results of Dr. Ornish's studies have been reported in the Lancet, the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), and other respected, peer reviewed medical publications.  Dr. Ornish is among the best known researchers of heart disease in the United States and is the author of the best-selling books:  Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart DiseaseEat More, Weigh Less; Love and Survival, and The Spectrum.

The program produces remarkable results.  Dr. Ornish's studies show that 78 percent of participants were able to avoid bypasses or angioplasties.  Many participants are able to reduce their medications for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.  Most people also say that they "just simply feel better".

3. Is there any risk for participants?
The components of the Ornish Program---a low-fat, whole foods nutrition plan, exercise, relaxation to reduce stress and social support---are rooted in common sense.  When the program guidelines are followed, there are no significant health risks to participants.

4. What are physicians and specialists saying about the Ornish Program?  Do they support the program?
As with any treatment, the Ornish Program is bound to have its skeptics.  Invariably, physicians who recommend patients to the program come away convinced of its exceptional value and impressed by the results.  The Ornish Program offers tremendous benefits to patients---with NO risk.  The doctor gains the support of an Ornish Program team that includes:

  • Registered dietician
  • Exercise physiologist
  • Registered nurse case managers
  • Stress management specialist
  • Behavioral health clinician
  • Program director
  • Medical director

Also, participants remain under the care of their physician, who will receive regular progress reports throughout the program.

For more information, call (304) 388-9411. 


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