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During April 18 lecture at GCSOM, cardiologist Robert Ostfeld, MD will discuss numerous health benefits of adopting plant-based diet

The key to good health lies at the end of your fork. That’s the message cardiologist, Robert J. Ostfeld, MD will deliver at the eighth installment of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine’s Preventive Medicine Lecture Series on April 18.

Dr. Ostfeld’s talk, Confessions of a Reformed Cardiologist: A Plant -Based Diet and Your Heart, weaves together personal reflections, stories of amazing transformations plucked from his patient files and scientific data -- including research studies and medical imaging – to demonstrate the powerful benefits of adopting a plant-based diet.

“I’ve never seen anything come close to the breadth and depth of benefits a plant-based diet provides,” Dr. Ostfeld said. “We have patients literally crying tears of joy in our office because they feel so much better after adopting this diet. No one ever cries when I write them a prescription for cholesterol-lowering medication.”

Dr. Ostfeld is the Director of Preventive Cardiology and the founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Health System in Bronx, NY. He is also an associate professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He said he founded the Cardiac Wellness Program because he grew tired of watching patients tread the same predictable route from escalating doses of medicines to complex and invasive surgeries. “I just wanted to get people better,” he said. “I was looking for something transformational.”

Dr. Ostfeld’s searching led him to the work of Dr. Colin Campbell and other proponents of plant-based nutrition. The data persuaded him to prescribe such diets to his own patients and inspired the Cardiac Wellness Program. “Nutrition is often neglected in medical school, but I learned that you can prevent disease – and not just heart disease but a whole host of other diseases, including cancer -- with a whole foods, plant-based diet,” he said.

Since establishing the Cardiac Wellness Program about eight years ago, Dr. Ostfeld said he has personally supervised patients who have undergone the kind of transformation he envisioned when he first began to practice medicine. “Patients lose weight,” he said. “But that isn’t the ultimate goal of the diet, although it’s certainly a great side effect. Patients come off of their blood pressure medications, diabetes medications. They have more energy and report that they sleep better.”

According to Dr. Ostfeld, attendees at his talk will come away with a few key messages. One is that you are not victim of genes. “Genes run in families,” he said. “But so does lifestyle. With good nutrition, you can profoundly lower your risk of getting diseases – even if they run in your family.” He also wants attendees to understand that plant-based eating is great for the heart and blood vessels, but is also beneficial in dozens of other ways, from lowering the risk of dementia to improving your complexion. Finally, he said, “Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States. That’s a designation we don’t want. We can easily make it lose that title just by adopting a plant-based diet.”

Dr. Ostfeld’s lecture will take place at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, 525 Pine Street, Scranton at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 18. The event is free but reservations are required. RSVP to

About Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is a member of the Geisinger family. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with campuses in Danville, Lewistown, Scranton, Sayre and Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Commonwealth offers Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a portfolio of graduate degrees. The school’s innovative curriculum, focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and their community, attracts the next generation of physicians and scientists from within its region, as well as from across the state and the nation. Geisinger Commonwealth is committed to non-discrimination in all employment and educational opportunities. Visit

About Geisinger
Geisinger is among the nation’s leading providers of value-based care, serving 1.2 million people in urban and rural communities across Pennsylvania. Founded in 1915 by philanthropist Abigail Geisinger, the non-profit system generates $10 billion in annual revenues across 134 care sites - including 10 hospital campuses, and Geisinger Health Plan, with 600,000 members in commercial and government plans. The Geisinger College of Health Sciences educates more than 5,000 medical professionals annually and conducts more than 1,400 clinical research studies. With 26,000 employees, including 1,600 employed physicians, Geisinger is among Pennsylvania’s largest employers with an estimated economic impact of $14 billion to the state’s economy. On March 31, 2024, Geisinger became the first member of Risant Health, a new nonprofit charitable organization created to expand and accelerate value-based care across the country.  Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X.

Robert J. Ostfeld, MD, Montefiore Health System
Robert J. Ostfeld, MD
Director, Preventive Cardiology
Associate Professor of Medicine
Montefiore Health System
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Elizabeth Zygmunt
Director, Media and Public Relations 
Office: 570-504-9687
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