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February 28, 2003


"Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you."

By: Aldous Huxley.

For more than twenty years, Dr. Dean Ornish and colleagues at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute have demonstrated through a number of clinical trials, that intensive lifestyle modification can effectively slow, stop, or reverse the progression of coronary artery disease.

As early as 1977, Dr. Ornishís research evaluating the impact of comprehensive lifestyle practices was generating compelling data. Results from Dr. Ornishís latest research, the Multicenter Lifestyle Demonstration Project reinforced the Programís clinical efficacy and demonstrated its tremendous cost-savings potential through avoidance of invasive procedures and adverse events. (American Journal of Cardiology, 1998: 82: 72T-76T)

The research data has attracted growing interest from health insurance and managed care organizations seeking proven clinical programs that improve member health and reduce health care costs. Approximately forty health plans have committed to Program reimbursement as a defined benefit or on a case-by-case basis.

In 1998, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield became the first insurance company in the country to both pay for and provide the Ornish Program to its members. In spring 2002, Dr. Dean Ornish and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield created Lifestyle Advantage to increase access to the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. (From the Lifestyle Advantage Manual)




BYLAWS - January, 2003

Rev. B, February 27, 2003

Article 1. Definitions and Purpose

WHAT IS A SELF DIRECTED COMMUNITY? The definition of SELF is "by means of ones self", the definition of DIRECTED is "subject to regulation", the definition of COMMUNITY is a "unified body of individuals having a common specific goal".


OUR GOAL, therefore, is to establish a self directed community for a group of people with the common goal of reversing heart disease, and each member subscribing fully and faithfully to the permanent lifestyle changes as set forth in the scientifically proven "Program for Reversing Heart Disease", authored by Dr. Dean Ornish.

OUR BEGINNING: We began our self directed community in January 2003. All members are continuing participants in and alumni of the "Dr. Dean Ornish Program" as presented at the United Hospital Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Our voluntary technical consultants are the staff of the hospitalís "Health Connection". Our weekly meeting are held at the First Baptist Church of Nutter Fort, in Harrison County, West Virginia.

OUR MISSION is to serve as a catalyst for bringing our members into healing communities around the core component of the program. To become mentors for others with heart disease. To serve as a maintenance program for sustaining the Dean Ornish lifestyle. To enhance the quality of life and to demonstrate how this knowledge is the source of healing on the physical, emotional and spiritual level of each individual. Following and embodying the principles of nonjudgmental acceptance and the interpersonal values of group support. (Listening with empathy and compassion, speaking about things one cares about)

OUR OBJECTIVE is to support a collective shift in thinking about heart disease and the development of the Ornish Lifestyle at the grass roots level. A shift in the collective thinking of the nation in the former basis of the knowledge of heart disease to include lifestyle change as a treatment option for reversing heart disease.

NAME of the Self Directed Community hereinafter shall be called Back To Health And Living Community, or BHLC.

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Article 2. Officers

THE OFFICERS of the BHLC shall be the President: the Vice President; the Secretary: and the Treasurer. Term of office shall be one year beginning in January of each year. The election of officers shall be by nomination and by second of the nomination. If more than one nomination is presented then the BHLC shall vote upon the office.

PRESIDENT: The president shall be ex-0fficio of all committees. He shall when present preside at all meetings of the BHLC.

VICE-PRESIDENT: The vice president in the absence or at the request of the President, shall preside at meetings of the BHLC.

SECRETARY: The Secretary shall record and keep the minutes of the proceedings of the BHLC, to keep and maintain the list of members, to carry on the correspondence of the BHLC.

TREASURER: The Treasurer shall receive and bank all monies for the BHLC, to keep proper accounts of all receipts and disbursements and to report upon the state of the treasury whenever called upon by the President or a committee.


Article 3. Committees

COMMITTEES shall be established as needed by the BHLC and assigned by the President.

PROGRAMS COMMITTEE: The Program Committee shall arrange for meetings or activities of the BHLC. Three members shall serve on the committee on a voluntary basis.

PUBLICITY COMMITTEE: The Publicity Committee shall look after any publicity required by the BHLC in connection with the activities of the BHLC. Three members shall serve on the committee on a voluntary basis.

SPECIAL EVENTS COMMITTEE: The Special Events Committee shall have jurisdiction over all special events conducted by the BHLC. Three members shall serve on the committee on a voluntary basis.

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: The Membership Committee shall contact graduates of the Ornish Programs to invite them to BHLC meetings. The committee shall maintain communication with the staff at United Hospital Centerís Health Connection for names of new graduates.

Article 4. Meetings

WEEKLY MEETINGS: Weekly meeting of the BHLC shall consist of :

(1) Exercise, (2) Stress Management, (3) Group Support, and (4) Dinner.

MONTHLY BUSINESS MEETING: A monthly business meeting shall be held on the 3rd week of each month. The time shall be one hour before the BHLC meeting. The order of business shall be as follows:

Minutes of the previous meeting. 2. Business arising out of the Minutes. 3. Correspondence. 4. Reports of Standing Committees. 5. Unfinished business. 6. New business.


Article 5. Membership

MEMBERSHIP: Any person graduating or stratified from an Ornish program is eligible to become members of the Back to Health and Living Community. The term of membership is for the life of the member, unless voluntary termination of membership.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: Family or Friends of members of a BHLC that actively support the goals of the BHLC can become an associate member and participate with the community at Dinners and Special Events.

DUES: Dues are set at $60.00 per year, or paid at $5.00 per month per member. Dues are optional for members with hardships.


Article 6. Amending By-Laws

The By-Laws of the Community may be rescinded, altered or added to but only by "Extraordinary Resolution" of the Community. These revisions will be binding by a 75% vote from the membership in attendance. A one month notice shall be shall be given to all members before any Bylaws revisions shall be voted upon.


Non-Profit Status

The BHLC shall be carried out without the purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other accretions to the BHLC shall only be used in promoting it s objects. No member shall receive remuneration for his or her services. No part of the income, profits or accretions of the BHLC is payable to or otherwise available for the personal benefit of any proprietor, or member of the BHLC Community.


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The books and accounts of the Back to Health and Living Community shall be audited a least once each year by a duly qualified accountant or by two members of the Community.



Each memberís medical information is the property of the BHLC: therefore, all records must remain in the custody of the BHLC at all times. Medical information is not released by any member of the BHLC staff without a memberís prior written consent. All group discussions are considered confidential and any information disclosed during the group discussions is not to be discussed out side of the group.



Information obtained from the BHLC meetings is not intended as a substitute for professional care. You should consult your healthcare provider, with any problems. The BHLC does not offer medical advice. In no event shall the BHLC be liable for any direct, indirect , special, punitive, incidental, exemplary or consequential damages, personal injury, or any damages whatsoever. The BHLC exercise and stress management programs are established programs, and are used by each participant at his or her own risk, with out any liability to BHLC officers or BHLC members.


Officers Signatures and Date:

President: Date: .

Vice President: Date: .

Secretary: Date: .

Treasurer: Date: .








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