KentuckyOne Health Launches Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease

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LOUISVILLE KentuckyOne Health is now offering Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease™ (the Ornish Reversal Program), the first program scientifically proven not only to prevent heart disease and other chronic conditions, but also to undo it.

Dean Ornish, MD, is the founder and president of the non-profit Preventive Medicine Research Institute and clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ornish was appointed by President Barack Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health in 2010 and, previously, by President Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy in 2000. The Ornish diet, a critical component of the Ornish Reversal Program, was rated #1 for heart health by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

KentuckyOne Health is the first and only health provider in the state providing the Ornish Reversal Program, which is grounded in more than three decades of peer-reviewed studies by Dr. Ornish and others. It uses lifestyle changes to make its impact, altering the way participants eat, move, manage stress, and find emotional support to improve overall well-being. It is delivered in 18 four-hour group sessions over a nine-week period in cohorts of up to 15 people, with a focus on improvement in four key areas:

► Fitness emphasizes regular, moderate, and sustainable exercise.
► Stress management helps participants cope with and manage stress while also fostering an increased level of physical and emotional self-awareness.
► Group support connects individuals with others who are participating in the program and facilitates long-lasting relationships.
► Nutrition develops and cultivates a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based eating plan.

The first site to offer the Ornish Reversal Program is KentuckyOne’s Healthy Lifestyle Center at Medical Center Jewish Northeast off Old Henry Road beginning July 7. Saint Joseph Hospital in Lexington will open the second location in late 2015. KentuckyOne’s medical leaders echoed the importance of this changing paradigm. “We have to start getting at the root causes of poor health rather than relying on prescriptions and medical procedures to address symptoms,” said cardiologist Paul Rogers, MD, co-medical director of the Ornish Reversal Program in Louisville. “Compared to even the best medical therapy, we know we can decrease heart attacks, strokes, and death by between 35 percent and 45 percent by changing lifestyle. The Ornish Reversal Program builds on KentuckyOne’s excellence in heart care and emerging focus on wellness and gives us a new evidence-based tool to effectively treat and reverse disease.”

The Ornish Reversal Program is facilitated by a dedicated six-person team that includes a medical director, program leader, nurse case manager, and experts in stress management, behavioral health, fitness, and nutrition. “We are working together to help participants take control of their health by providing the knowledge, training, and community resources to sustain a healthier lifestyle,” said Deborah Ballard, MD, MPH, an internal medicine specialist and co-medical director for the Ornish Reversal Program in Louisville. She noted one unique aspect of the service is the opportunity to be a part of the Ornish community after the program ends. “This alumni concept helps people maintain their gains and adhere to lifestyle changes over the long run. In some communities, participants are still in touch after 20 years or more.

KentuckyOne Health is offering the Ornish Reversal Program through global well-being improvement leader Healthways, Inc. Healthways partnered with Dr. Ornish in 2013 to bring his innovative, evidence-based approach to health systems across the United States in response to growing demand from consumers and providers for approaches that address the underlying causes of disease through lifestyle changes.

The Ornish Reversal Program is reimbursed by Medicare, Anthem, and other commercial payers for individuals with qualifying heart conditions (acute myocardial infarction within the preceding 12 months, coronary artery bypass surgery, stable angina, heart valve repair or replacement, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting, and heart or heart-lung transplant). In addition, there is a discounted rate for individuals who choose to pay out-of-pocket.

We are working together to help participants take control of their health by providing the knowledge, training, and community resources to sustain a healthier lifestyle.– Dr. Deborah Ballard

Compared to even the best medical therapy, we know we can decrease heart attacks, strokes, and death by between 35 percent and 45 percent by changing lifestyle.– Dr. Paul Rogers