In this dialogue CCARE’s founder and director, Dr. James Doty, asks Dean Ornish, MD about his life’s work and what role compassion may have played.
Dr. Dean Ornish is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF and the Founder & President of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute. Dr. Ornish’s pioneering research was the first to prove that lifestyle changes may stop or even reverse the progression of heart disease and early-stage prostate cancer and even change gene expression, “turning on” disease-preventing genes and “turning off” genes that promote cancer, heart disease and premature aging. Recently, Medicare agreed to provide coverage for his program, the first time that Medicare has covered an integrative medicine program. He is the author of six bestselling books and was recently appointed by President Obama to the White House Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. He is a member of the boards of directors of the San Francisco Food Bank and the J. Craig Venter Institute. The Ornish diet was rated #1 for heart health by U.S. News & World Report in 2011 and 2012. He was selected as one of the “TIME 100” in integrative medicine, honored as “one of the 125 most extraordinary University of Texas alumni in the past 125 years,” recognized by LIFE magazine as “one of the 50 most influential members of his generation” and by Forbes magazine as “one of the 7 most powerful teachers in the world.”