Hunterdon Healthcare Brings Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease to Our Community

Hunterdon Healthcare is now offering patients a unique, non-invasive approach to reverse cardiac disease. Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease™ (Ornish Reversal Program), available exclusively from Healthways, addresses the root causes of heart disease rather than just its symptoms, and offers participants what can be a more appealing option than surgery: lifestyle as treatment.

“This program will be an excellent addition to the cardiac service line that we offer at Hunterdon Medical Center, and we are excited to introduce it as an option for our patients,” said Lisa Buckley, MSN, FNP, RN-BC, Director of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. “The Ornish Reversal Program gives us another proven approach to treat heart disease and supports our ongoing mission to provide the best possible care and treatment to our community.”

The Ornish Reversal Program is based on more than three decades of research showing that the progression of coronary artery disease and other chronic conditions can be treated and reversed through lifestyle changes. The program, Dr. Ornish’s research and Dr. Ornish himself have been featured widely in national media, including stories in Newsweek, TIME, U.S. News & World Report and The New York Times.

Ornish Reversal Program participants attend 18 four-hour group sessions for a total of 72 hours. Each session can accommodate approximately 10-12 individuals who focus on improvement in four key areas: exercise, stress management, nutrition and group support. The program is facilitated by a dedicated seven-person team that includes a medical director, program director, nurse case manager, clinical exercise physiologist and experts in stress management, behavioral health, fitness and nutrition. These experts help participants to take control of their treatment by providing them with the knowledge, training and community resources to sustain a healthier lifestyle. Many participants maintain contact with their group and continue to be a part of the Ornish community after the program ends.

Hunterdon Healthcare is currently enrolling qualified participants in the program.  The program will be offered at the Hunterdon Medical Center’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Center. The first group will begin in August.

“My colleagues and I are helping to create a new paradigm of health care – one based on addressing the underlying causes of heart disease and many other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Ornish. “My vision has always been to sustainably transform lives for the better by making simple lifestyle choices. With each new site to offer our program, we continue to make that vision a reality, expanding access to a greater number of people suffering from a disease that we have found can often be reversed without drugs or surgery.


“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.”

Hunterdon Healthcare is offering the Ornish Reversal Program through global well-being leader Healthways, Inc. (NASDAQ: HWAY). Healthways began partnering 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 and other commercial payers for qualified individuals. In addition to heart disease, some insurers have expanded their coverage to include diabetes and other risk factors.

To determine whether you may be eligible for Ornish Reversal Program at Hunterdon Medical Center, call 908-788-6371. For more information on the program, visit or call 1-877-888-3091.


About Hunterdon Healthcare

Hunterdon Healthcare System delivers compassionate and exceptional care that improves the health of the community. Hunterdon Healthcare System is recognized as a national model for offering Community focused health improvement that is consumer-centered and driven by a passion for excellence. Under the corporate organization, Hunterdon Healthcare System constitutes the sole member of Hunterdon Medical Center, Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation, Hunterdon Regional Community Health and Midjersey Health Corporation.

Hunterdon Medical Center is acknowledged as a leader in developing comprehensive medical and health care services.  Hunterdon Medical Center treats over 8,600 inpatients annually, with 33,000 Emergency Department visits and over 292,000 outpatient visits per year.  The 178-bed hospital provides a full range of preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic inpatient and outpatient hospital and community health services.

The Hunterdon Medical Center is also a teaching institution and is affiliated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.  The Family Medicine Residency Program is one of the first in the nation for the training of specialists in family medicine.



About Dean Ornish, M.D.

Dean Ornish, M.D., 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 received his M.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine, was a clinical fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He earned a B.A. in humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address.

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. He chaired the Google Health Advisory Council 2007-2009.

He has received numerous national and professional awards including being honored by LIFE magazine as “one of the fifty most influential members of his generation,” being recognized as “one of the most interesting people of 1996” by People; and having been described in Forbesmagazine as “one of the seven most powerful teachers in the world.”

The Ornish diet, a critical component of the Ornish Program, was rated #1 for heart health by U.S. News & World Report in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

About Healthways

Healthways is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 68 million people on four continents. Learn more at