Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Ornish Program a Fad Or Is It Based On Scientific Fact?

The Ornish Program is the result of more than two decades of research by Dr. Ornish. The results of his studies have been reported in The Lancet, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and other respected, peer-reviewed medical publications. Dr. Ornish is among the best-known researchers of heart disease in the United States and is the author of the best-sellers Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease and Eat More, Weigh Less. And, yes, the program produces remarkable results. Dr. Ornish’s studies show that 78% of participants were able to avoid bypass or angioplasty.

How Long Before Participants See Results From the Ornish Program?

Results vary for each participant based on a variety of factors. But many participants have reported improvements within a few weeks of entering the Ornish Program and adopting their new lifestyle (for example, fewer and less severe angina attacks). As the program progresses, many participants discover:

  • New energy
  • Increased strength
  • Success in dealing with stressful situations
  • A newfound sense of empowerment as they regain control of their health and their lives.
  • In addition to improving their physical health, participants find they are happier, less hostile, and better able to cope with stress than ever before.

Why Can’t a Person Just Do This On His/Her Own?

The Ornish Program relies on advice that physicians will tell their patients — lower your fat intake, exercise, learn how to relax, and avoid stress. However, the Ornish Program shows people how to make the comprehensive lifestyle changes required to bring this advice to their lives and make it work, day in and day out. The program teaches participants how to adhere to a diet that cuts fat intake, to exercise in ways that build strength and stamina without overtaxing them physically, to relax through specialized techniques, and to recognize and defuse stress. The staff is truly the heart of the program as they offer support.

Where Can I Find More Information About the Ornish Program?

Individuals interested in finding out more about the Ornish Program or applying for the program, and primary care physicians and cardiologists with qualified candidates, should call the UPMC Hamot Ornish Program office at 814-877-5481.

​Contact Us

Dr. Dean Ornish Program

UPMC Hamot Center for Healthy Living
Sterling Square
3330 Peach St., Suite 211
Erie, PA 16508

Phone: 814-877-5481
Fax: 814-877-5489

Office Hours:
Monday - Wednesday:
9 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Thursday - Friday:
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

    ©  UPMC  |   Contact UPMC  |   Disclaimer  |   Privacy Notice  | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit |  Privacy and Breach Alerts