The Dean Ornish Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program

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For more information or to refer a patient, please call 401-793-5810 or 401-606-4080.

Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute
Lifespan Ambulatory Care Center
1454 South County Trail, Suite 1100
East Greenwich, RI 02818

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The Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute offers the Dean Ornish Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program at its East Greenwich location. This program is the only lifestyle medicine program proven in randomized controlled clinical trials to reverse the progression of coronary heart disease and is the only program of its kind offered in New England.

The program has been shown to improve health and reduce cardiac risk in patients with cardiac disease by:

  • Lowering LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
  • Decreasing frequency and severity of angina 
  • Reducing body weight
  • Decreasing depression
  • Reducing cardiac events
  • Decreasing the need for medications
  • Lowering chances of future surgery

The program also helps improve other health conditions such as diabetes.

How the Dean Ornish Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program Works

Classes meet twice a week for nine weeks, four hours per session. To help accommodate patients who work, classes are offered in morning, afternoon and evening hours. 

Each 4-hour session focuses on four lifestyle aspects:

  1. Nutrition: learning to maintain a whole-foods, plant-based diet
  2. Activity: supervised exercise
  3. Stress management: yoga and meditation
  4. Emotional support: group sessions

Education plays a key role in the program and is provided by a variety of medical professionals, including our registered nurses, exercise physiologists, social workers and behavioral therapists, registered nutritionists, and a stress management specialist.

Who is Eligible?

The program is appropriate for patients with the following diagnoses:

  • Heart attack within 12 months
  • Valve repair and replacement   
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery 
  • Coronary angioplasty or stenting
  • Heart transplant
  • Stable angina

Most insurance plans cover the program if you have a qualifying diagnosis. However, to avoid unexpected medical expenses or copays, please contact your insurance carrier before enrolling to confirm coverage and inquire about costs.

Almost 90 percent of the people who participate in the program are still following it one year later. In contrast, only 30 to 50 percent of people prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs are still taking them after only six months.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Facilities

The program is offered on the ground floor of the Lifespan Ambulatory Care Center in East Greenwich, which has ample parking, lockers and showers, a kitchen for cooking demonstrations, a yoga and meditation room, resistance training and cardiovascular exercise equipment, and an indoor walking track.