Hi! I am currently the RN clinical coordinator for Goshen Health Cardiopulmonary Rehab and the program manager for the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program.

My nursing career began 20 years ago at Elkhart General Hospital, where I was able to spread my wings and experience bedside nursing, eventually moving into management and director positions

I learned of the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program as it was offered at Beacon Health for several years. I was very impressed with the program and what it had to offer our cardiac population, but never really thought it was something I needed because I was not a cardiac patient and I thought I was already eating well and pretty healthy.

As the years passed, the stress and commitment of a demanding nurse director position began to wear on me, and I knew it was time for a career change.

As I was contemplating my next chapter in my nursing career, I found Goshen had the Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program, and they were looking for a nurse case manager for their cardiopulmonary rehab. I immediately applied.

I was offered the position and was soon off to Tennessee for Ornish Lifestyle training. The timing was impeccable! I had just learned that my lipid panel — specifically cholesterol and LDL — were above acceptable range, and my sister had recently suffered a heart attack and needed a stent placed. I knew I had a strong family history of heart disease and needed to make some changes.

The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program is a 72-hour, intensive cardiac rehab program that incorporates exercise, nutrition, stress management and group support in order to prevent and even reverse heart disease in patients. I have been following a whole foods, plant-based diet and the Ornish lifestyle for more than two years now, and I could not be more pleased with how I feel — and my numbers reflect it.

I have increased my exercise capacity, dropped my total cholesterol by greater than 50 points, lost 15 pounds and have been able to keep it off. I have learned to incorporate yoga and breath work into my routines, as well.

I have been with Goshen Health for just over two years and am grateful for the opportunity to truly practice my passion and share my enthusiasm for heart health and lifestyle improvement.