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National Jewish Health & Saint Joseph Hospital Launch Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for Reversing Heart Disease


National Jewish Health & Saint Joseph Hospital Launch Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation ProgramNational Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital are working together to offer patients a unique, non-invasive way to reverse cardiac disease. The new Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, based on Ornish Lifestyle Medicine, addresses the root causes of heart disease rather than just its symptoms. 

In this comprehensive program, participants attend group sessions over a nine-week period. Each session focuses on improvement in four key areas: exercise, stress management, nutrition and group support. The program is facilitated by a team of certified and trained staff who work with patients twice a week on the key program elements. These experts help participants take control of their treatment by providing them with the knowledge, training and community resources to sustain a healthier lifestyle. The program is offered at Saint Joseph Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Midtown office. The first group begins in January, with additional classes offered throughout the year. 

“We’re excited to bring the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program to our patients. With this scientifically proven program, we can target the cause of coronary disease rather than just treat it after-the-fact. In our intensive cardiac rehab program, participants learn the keys to keeping cardiovascular disease at bay and transform themselves in the process,” said Andrew Freeman, MD, director of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services at National Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital. 

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program was created by Dr. Dean Ornish in the 1980s and 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. 

“My vision has always been to sustainably transform lives for the better by making simple lifestyle choices,” said Dr. 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 National Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital to bring this program and its benefits to their community.”  

This innovative, evidence-based approach was created in response to growing demand from consumers and providers for approaches that address the underlying causes of disease through lifestyle changes. The Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation program through National Jewish Health and Saint Joseph Hospital is one of only three sites in Colorado offering the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program. Ornish Lifestyle Medicine is reimbursed by Medicare and other private insurance companies for qualified individuals. A self-pay option also is available for those who are interested but don’t have insurance coverage. 

To determine whether you may be eligible for this program, talk to your physician or call Saint Joseph Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Midtown office at 303.318.1303. Visit for more information. 

About Saint Joseph Hospital
Founded in Denver in 1873 by the Sisters of Charity Leavenworth, Saint Joseph Hospital was the first private hospital in Colorado. Today it is recognized as one of the top hospitals in the nation and largest private teaching hospital in Denver. Specializing in a variety of areas including advanced heart care, pregnancy and childbirth and cancer treatment, Saint Joseph Hospital continues to offer the high-quality, affordable health care that has served Denver for more than 140 years. By working closely with top physicians, Kaiser Permanente and National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation, Saint Joe’s is able to provide some of the best inpatient and outpatient care in Colorado. Saint Joseph Hospital’s parent organization, SCL Health, is a faith-based, non-profit healthcare system that operates 11 hospitals, more than 100 physician clinics, home health care, hospice, mental health care, and safety-net services primarily in Colorado and Montana. 

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 125 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of children and adults with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. Patients and families come to National Jewish Health from around the world to receive cutting-edge, comprehensive, coordinated care. To learn more, visit the media resources page.

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