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Published on July 07, 2015

St. Vincent's program reverses heart disease

9-week program focuses on nutrition, fitness, stress management

By Bruce Hamilton, WJXT

St. Vincent’s Healthcare is now offering patients a way to actually reverse their heart disease.

“Undo It With Ornish” is the first program scientifically proven to reverse heart disease. The evidence is so strong, Medicare now reimburses for it.

It's named after Dean Michael Ornish, who is a physician and president and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, as well as Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

St. Vincent’s is the only health system in Florida and Georgia to offer patients access to this life-altering program.

“For decades we have been the first to bring cardiology advances to our patients but most of those advances simply help patients live with the disease," said Dr. Saumil Oza, who is the Chief of Cardiology at St. Vincent's Riverside. "The Ornish program is designed to help patients actually reverse their heart disease and live longer, healthier lives."

Participants are immersed in a nine-week intensive program that overhauls their nutrition, fitness and stress management while educating them on the importance of their support network.

“Undo It” with Ornish is based on more than three decades of research showing the progression of coronary artery disease and other chronic conditions can be treated and reversed through lifestyle changes.

Ornish is a best-selling author and has been featured on national shows like Dr. Oz, Oprah and Larry King and in top publications like NewsweekTIME and U.S. News & World Report.

“My colleagues and I are helping to create a new paradigm of healthcare -- one based on addressing the underlying causes of heart disease and many other chronic diseases,” said Ornish. “My vision has always been to sustainably transform lives for the better by making simple lifestyle choices. Participants embrace the program because they have more energy, less stress, more emotional support, much less pain, and greater physical endurance -- in short, they feel empowered to regain control of their lives."

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