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Program aims to “undo” cardiac disease

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. –  Turns out, love and lifestyle are good for the heart.

Geisinger will soon offer patients a radical approach to “undo” cardiac disease: lifestyle as medicine. Ornish Lifestyle Medicine addresses the root causes of heart disease rather than just its symptoms, and offers participants what can be a more appealing option than surgery.  

“We see the same issues over and over in Northeastern Pennsylvania: high stress, poor diet and lack of support. These can all sabotage a person’s health and wellbeing. Ornish Lifestyle Medicine 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,” said cardiologist Bryan Martin, D.O., medical director of the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV). “Ultimately, this program can keep our loved ones out of the hospital.”

According to the program, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine 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. 

Ornish Lifestyle Medicine participants attend group sessions over a nine-week period. Each session focuses on four key areas: exercise, stress management, nutrition and group support. The program is facilitated by a dedicated six-person team that includes a medical director, program director, nurse case manager and experts in stress management, behavioral health, fitness and nutrition. These specialists 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.

Geisinger has already introduced the program at AtlantiCare hospitals in southern New Jersey and will be rolling it out at the GWV Cardiac Rehabilitation Department, 675 Baltimore Drive, Wilkes-Barre. The first group will meet Feb. 6 through April 3. 

“My vision has always been to sustainably transform lives for the better by making simple lifestyle choices,” said Dr. Dean Ornish. “Participants in this program feel like they get their life back – they have more energy, less stress, more emotional support and greater physical endurance. I am excited to work with Geisinger Wyoming Valley to bring this program and its benefits to their community.”  

Anyone interested in Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease may call GWV’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Department at 570-808-7973 or visit For more information, visit or call 877-888-3091.

Geisinger also offers monitored and maintenance cardiac rehabilitation programs at GWV, Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton and Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital


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About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Dr. David Feinberg and Dr. Dean Ornish chat during Geisinger's national symposium.
Geisinger President and CEO Dr. David Feinberg, left, chats with Dr. Dean Ornish, right, during the Geisinger National Symposium hosted at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program is based on a plant-based diet.
The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program aims to reverse coronary artery disease and other chronic conditions through lifestyle changes, such as eating a plant-based diet.
Members of GWV at Ornish Lifestyle Medicine training.
Members of the Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center staff participate in Ornish Lifestyle Medicine group training.
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