Ornish program holds open house on heart health at WVU Health Expo

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Hospitals is hosting an open house for the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. during the WVU Health Expo Friday.

The WVU Health Expo takes place at the Morgantown Mall.  The Ornish exhibit will be near the Food Court (watch for signs).

The Ornish program – which encompasses a low-fat diet, stress management, moderate aerobic exercise and group support – has helped thousands of people lower their risk of heart attack and avoid the need for procedures such as angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery.

“This lifestyle modification program enables participants to slow, stop and reverse many of the symptoms of coronary artery disease,” says Dave Harshbarger, Ornish program director at WVUH. “Many people are able to stave off first or repeat heart attacks or strokes. The program works – and it works well – in preventing and reversing heart disease.”

Heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, kills almost 7,000 West Virginians each year.

“The Ornish program is a change in diet, attitude and lifestyle,” Harshbarger explains. “People learn how to eat properly and adopt healthy behaviors to stop sabotaging themselves. They get back in control and start doing activities that many of them thought were lost forever. The best news is that even for people with documented heart disease, it’s not too late.”
The Ornish approach has been shown to reduce chest pain and blockages in coronary arteries while improving blood flow through the heart muscle. Participants also experience a greater sense of well-being and satisfaction with life.
 “All participants have lost weight and dropped overall body fat,” Harshbarger says of Ornish participants who joined the program at WVUH. “Their cholesterol levels have declined, and their perceived stress has decreased dramatically. We’re very proud of these participants.”

Ornish-friendly appetizers will be served at the open house.  For more information or to RSVP, call 304-293-2520.

Candidates for the Ornish program include:

  • People contemplating bypass surgery or angioplasty but seeking an alternative
  • People who have previously undergone a heart procedure who want to minimize the chances of repeating it
  • People diagnosed with coronary artery disease
  • People with risk factors for heart disease such as family history or high cholesterol levels

For information on the Ornish program at WVUH see www.hsc.wvu.edu/wellness/ornish.


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ab: 09-30-08

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