The heart disease reversal program recently celebrated the graduation of its 20th cohort

Honolulu, HI – ‘Ekahi Health System, part of the ‘ike family of companies, is pleased to announce that its ‘Ekahi Ornish Reversal Program recently graduated its 20th cohort, a major milestone for the ‘Ekahi Health Center at Restaurant Row which opened in Oct. 2015.

One of the fastest growing Ornish programs in the country, ‘Ekahi’s goal is to empower individuals to make a positive change in their lives. The Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease TM, a 9-week program consisting of 18 four-hour sessions, is credited with stopping the progression and even reversing the effects of heart disease by teaching participants to modify their eating habits, enhance their fitness regimens, manage stress and strengthen their personal support systems. Participants experience the Ornish program as a cohort, a group of up to 15 individuals.

“Findings from the nearly 200 graduates of our first 20 cohorts show that our ‘Ekahi Ornish Reversal Program continues to help people live healthier and more fulfilling lives,” said Dean Hirata, chairman and CEO of ‘Ekahi Health System. “We are pleased to see the positive impacts that this program has had on the overall health and well-being of individuals in our community.”

On par with national data, the clinical results of the ‘Ekahi Ornish Reversal Program indicated overall health improvements for participants in all areas, including the following:

Blood Pressure: Before starting the program, only 50 percent of participants were at a normal or near normal blood pressure level. Upon graduation, more than 80 percent of participants reached a normal or near normal blood pressure range, an overall increase of 30 percent.

Body Mass Index (BMI): BMI is the measure of body fat based on height and weight. Nearly 20 percent of participants reached a normal BMI as compared to 11 percent before starting the program. On average, participants lost about 7 percent of their body mass as a result of the program.

Cholesterol: Excess cholesterol can cause plaque to build up in arteries, which can cause an increase in blood pressure as well as increase the potential for heart attacks and stroke. The number of participants with high cholesterol declined to 4 percent, and those with normal cholesterol increased to 82 percent. On average, participants experienced a drop in cholesterol of about 14 percent.

Depression: Participants saw a 60 percent decrease in depression scores due to increased physical activity and overall health improvements resulting from the program.

ekahiornish-03The ‘Ekahi Ornish Reversal Program is now accepting participants. A monthly open house is scheduled every third Wednesday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the ‘Ekahi Health Center at Restaurant Row. The program is currently covered by Medicare and other insurers like HMSA, and participants can qualify as a form of preventive lifestyle medicine to reduce the risk of severe long-term health problems. Qualified participants regularly show signs of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high body mass or other cardiovascular risk factors.

To learn more about the Ornish program, please visit or call (808) 777-4001.