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Beebe Healthcare Brings Dr. Dean Ornish Program to Sussex County; Names Medical Director

Beebe Healthcare is proud to announce that the Dr. Dean Ornish Program For Reversing Heart Disease™ will open this summer at Beebe Health Campus on Route 24 in Rehoboth Beach.
This program is nationally recognized—through the results of more than 35 years of peer-reviewed, published research—for reversing the progression of heart disease.
Earlier this month, U.S. News & World Report awarded the Ornish Diet the No. 1 ranking for the Best Heart-Healthy Diet for the fifth year in a row.
“We are extremely pleased to bring the Dr. Dean Ornish Program to Sussex County,” says Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, President and CEO of Beebe Healthcare. “Although Beebe and our doctors provide care for patients with cardiovascular disease through such advanced medical programs as Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, the Dr. Dean Ornish Program will allow Beebe to help patients learn how they, themselves, can actively participate in reversing their heart disease.”
Cardiologist Rajinder Prasad, MD, FACC, has been named Director of the Dean Ornish Program at Beebe Healthcare. Dr. Prasad is Board Certified in Cardiovascular Disease and has been a member of the Beebe Medical Staff since 2003. He has offices in Lewes and in Ocean View. Dr. Prasad, who has treated patients locally since 2003, previously earned his medical degree in 1993 from the Indira Gandhi Medical College in India and subsequently had specialized training in cardiology with proficiency in cardiac catheterization, nuclear medicine, 2-D & Stress echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography at Howard University Hospital in Washington DC. Dr. Prasad also has been Medical Director of the Beebe Cardiac Rehabilitation Program for four years. The program, which is certified through the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), has been in existence at Beebe since 1982.

Cardiovascular disease is the number-one killer in the United States. Heart and vascular disease are all too common in Delaware. More than 12 percent of people in Sussex County have diabetes, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Nearly two-thirds of the population in Sussex County is overweight or obese, which also is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

What is the program?

The premise of the Dr. Dean Ornish Program is simple yet requires personal commitment and action: Adopt a healthy lifestyle based on the four key elements—a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet; at least 30 minutes of exercise each day; a practice of stress-management techniques; and active engagement in supportive relationships.
Participants attend a comprehensive program consisting of 18, four-hour sessions in which an experienced staff teaches them how to prepare a whole-food, plant-based diet, how to exercise, techniques such as yoga and meditation to help them manage their stress, and methods of communication through group discussions.

Documented and published results for thousands of participants across the nation have overwhelmingly shown that the program works. Participants have reported that they no longer have chest pain and that they have more energy. Their cholesterol levels and blood pressure have lowered, and they have kept off weight lost while taking part in the program. They also have reported that, under the supervision of their primary care physician, they have been able to reduce the amount of medication they took for years. Participants have been so successful in improving their health that Medicare and several private insurance plans pay for patients to attend the program, if they meet certain medical criteria. Interested participants who don’t meet the criteria can self-pay.

This medical criteria includes having:
• A heart attack in the past 12 months
• Stable angina (check pain)
• A heart valve repair
• A coronary artery bypass
• A coronary angioplasty or coronary stenting
• Heart or lung transplant

Participants also have to adhere to program guidelines, which includes, first and foremost, the giving up of tobacco use, which research links to many diseases, including heart disease.

“People adopt this new lifestyle because they feel so much better so quickly,” says Dean Ornish, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of San Francisco, and President and Founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute. “Our program offers a comprehensive lifestyle and gives patients the guidance and support to transform their lives. It also is based on science.”

Beebe is making preparations to open the program at the Beebe Health Campus in Rehoboth Beach, explains Lynn Amey, MHA, BSN, RN-BC, Executive Director of Cardiac and Vascular Services at Beebe Healthcare. Beebe is working with an architectural team to design the space in the Medical Arts Building to be comfortable and to meet the needs of the program, such as a demonstration kitchen and areas for yoga practice and group discussions. A gym already exists in the space from a previous program.
“We are very happy to offer the Dr. Dean Ornish Program at Beebe Healthcare,” Mrs. Amey says. “It supports our mission of improving the health and wellness of so many people. And, even though the program hasn’t begun, we are getting interest from people outside of the local area. That shows how much of a need there is for a program that helps people meet their health goals.”

For more information on the Dr. Dean Ornish Program, please visit
For more information on the program at Beebe Healthcare, please visit For more information, call the Ornish Reversal Program at Beebe at (302) 645-3514.

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services. For more information, please visit us online at