Dean Ornish

Founder & President Preventive Medicine Research Institute

Dean is a real pioneer. For more than 30 years he’s been developing and working on ways to treat heart disease that fundamentally challenge the assumptions of our medical-industrial complex by avoiding drugs and surgery. Dean also directed the first randomized controlled trial demonstrating that comprehensive lifestyle changes may stop or reverse the progression of early-stage prostate cancer, and his current research is showing that comprehensive lifestyle changes affect gene expression.

Along the way Dean’s been a consulting physician to Presidents and Congressional leaders, written numerous articles in the academic and popular press—and four best-selling books—been the subject of several documentaries, advised corporations from McDonald’s to Google, and received too many awards to list. After a prolonged process, Medicare has now agreed to provide coverage for Dean’s program, the first time that it’s covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes.

Dean’s also been active in the world of health online, as the Editor of the (newly acquired) Huffington Post, an expert on ShareCare (unveiled at Health 2.0 last Fall) and with his own forthcoming application, the Dean Ornish Spectrum. We can’t think of anyone better to talk about wellness, prevention and health, and to elucidate how hard it is to change health care on a personal and a system level.