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Highly Trained Experts
Our staff includes professionals trained in multiple disciplines including:
- Executive Director
- Medical Director
- Nurse Case Managers
- Registered Dietitians
- Stress Management Specialist
- Exercise Physiologist
- Group Support Facilitators (social workers)
Executive Director, Therapy Services
Ellen graduated with a B.S. in Kinesiology in 1981 and an M.S. in Physical Therapy in 1984. She worked as a physical therapist in a variety of clinical areas including acute, outpatient, geriatrics, orthopedics, acute rehab/neuro, cardiac, burns, and skilled nursing. She has been a rehab manager for the past 38 years in a variety of settings, and is currently Executive Director of Therapy Services for UCLA Health, which includes rehab, respiratory therapy, and integrative medicine programs. Ellen is a past member and president of the Physical Therapy Board of California, and continues to serve as a consultant investigating PT-related complaints state-wide.
Tamara Horwich, MD, MS
Program Medical Director
Dr. Tamara Horwich is an attending cardiologist and Health Sciences Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine/Cardiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She is Medical Director of the UCLA Health Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program, Co-Director of the UCLA Women's Cardiovascular Health Center, and an active member of the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. Dr. Horwich's clinical interests include treating and preventing heart disease in women, cardiac rehabilitation, treating patients with heart failure, and performing and interpreting echocardiograms. Read more >
Ernie Sacco, E.P., M.A.
Clinical Manager, Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
Ernie’s background in nonprofit management and operations combined with his experience in health, wellness, rehabilitation, and exercise prepared him well for his role at UCLA. Ernie received both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from California State University, Northridge where he majored in Kinesiology. His graduate thesis was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. During his graduate studies, Ernie learned first-hand that “exercise is the best medicine” that helps individuals truly improve their health and well-being. His first professional role emphasized the importance of nutrition, exercise, and stress management on the ability to reverse heart disease. His passion for therapeutic exercise, health, and wellness ultimately led to his involvement in cardiac rehabilitation. Ernie cherishes spending time with his wife and two lovely children. In his free time, Ernie is an avid runner, fitness enthusiast, and sports junkie.
Mary Galindo, MPH, RD
Mary Galindo is a Registered Dietitian and holds a Master of Public Health specializing in Health Promotion and Education. She also holds a certificate in Vegetarian Nutrition, Motivational Interviewing, and Health Coaching. Mary has been an integral part of the development and delivery of UCLA Health Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease since its inception at UCLA in 2014. She is continually inspired and motivated by the results that comprehensive lifestyle medicine is providing for her cardiac patients.
Lucy Chu, RN, BSN, PHN
Nurse Case Manager
Lucy is the Nurse Case Manager for UCLA Health Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. She is a Registered Nurse and has been with UCLA since the start of her career in 2008. Prior to 2015, Lucy worked in the OR, ICU, and PTU/PACU in an outpatient setting. She believes strongly in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and she finds joy in helping her patients transform their health through integrative medicine.
Maryellen Raimo, BSN, BA, RN, OCN
Maryellen earned a nursing diploma from St Clare’s School of Nursing in New York City and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Western Governor’s University. Maryellen was hired as the first RN Case Manager to join the original UCLA Ornish Lifestyle Interdisciplinary Team in 2014. Maryellen is a passionate advocate of the program’s holistic approach to health and wellness and recently returned to the program in late 2018. Maryellen feels privileged to be a part of a program that allows participants to take control of their own health through simple lifestyle improvements. In her spare time, Maryellen enjoys spending time with family, the outdoors and traveling.
Lauren Greene, BS, CEP, CCRP
Lauren is a Clinical Exercise Physiologist with UCLA Health Traditional Cardiopulmonary Rehab and the UCLA Health Ornish Lifestyle Medicine Program. She holds professional certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CEP) and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR-CCRP). Lauren has worked in our department since 2006 and played a critical role in starting the UCLA Health Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program from the ground-up in 2014. She provides a safe, educational and fun environment where patients can reach their goals. Originally, from Michigan, Lauren lives in Santa Monica and loves a good sunset beach run.
Julie Segovia Rowland BA, C-IAYT
Stress Management Specialist
Julie is a certified yoga therapist through Loyola Marymount University’s YTRx program and is a member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists. She commits daily to her practice and to guiding others toward a sense of wholeness and wellness inherent in us all. She has taught yoga to cancer patients, survivors, and their families at UCLA Medical Center Olive View, trauma-informed yoga to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault for the non-profit organization Exhale to Inhale, and yoga recovery from drug & alcohol addiction. Julie also serves on the board of the non-profit organization the Heartstringz Foundation, which provides musical companionship, ukuleles, and musical instruction to hospitalized children and senior citizens.