Synergy Lifestyle Center

Based on the 40+ years of research conducted by Dr. Dean Ornish and his colleagues, the goal of Synergy is to give heart patients a better, more affordable and permanent solution to heart disease through a series of lifestyle changes

How It Works

What Should I Expect

What Makes Synergy Different

In collaboration with the UC San Francisco and other leading academic institutions, over a span of 40+ years, Dean Ornish, M.D.® and his colleagues performed research conclusively proving that through simple changes in diet and lifestyle, the effects of heart disease can be reversed without the assistance of surgery or medicine.

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Take The Worry Out of The Right Decision

  • Scientifically Proven to Work
  • Covered By Medicare
  • Located in Jacksonville
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About Us

Meet Our Staff

Dr. Salil Patel, MD, FACC
Salil Patel, MD, FACC, is proud to bring his experience in caring to his hometown Jacksonville community. In addition to performing coronary and peripheral interventions, Dr. Patel also believes strongly in preventing and treating disease via healthy lifestyle choices. Him and his wife and enjoy spending time with and raising our 2 boys. “I have always felt that providing the best care for patients requires taking the time to go over the details. Sometimes a little extra effort goes a long way.”
Dr. Nehu Patel, MD
Nehu C. Patel, MD, has a primary focus on the prevention, treatment, and management of patients with cardiovascular and related diseases. He has enjoyed living in Jacksonville since moving here from Chicago in 2004. His wife and three beautiful daughters share a love for family and traveling to new places around the globe. Dr. Patel is greatly galvanized by the concept of ‘selfless service’ namely done by BAPS charities. He organizes a yearly non-profit Health Fairs at their local Hindu temple as well as Walkathons and other fundraisers for various charities and groups. “My philosophy in treatment of the complex heart patient is empowerment and accountability. I carefully listen to the concerns of the patient and together we are able to formulate a plan of care for their heart or vascular disease.”
Dr. Mark Peacock, MD, FAFP
Mark A. Peacock, MD is a board-certified family physician with nearly 40 years in practice. He was motivated to be proactive in cardiovascular health when his father suffered a massive heart attack at age 45. He has seen the positive impact made by adopting a healthful lifestyle and its beneficial effect on many medical condition including cardiovascular health.
Crystal Hall, CPPM, CPB, CPC
Crystal Hall is the Business Administrator for Synergy Lifestyle Center. She has an AS in Health Information Management & several certifications including Medical Billing & Coding and Practice Administration. She was born and raised right here in Jacksonville, Fl. Crystal is happily married with 5 children and 5 grandchildren. Crystal enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, boating and the beach.
Mia Howell, RDN, LDN
Mia Howell is a Registered Dietitian and the Program Director at Synergy Lifestyle Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and Dietetics from the University of North Florida and completed her 1200-hour dietetic internship at Bastyr University with a focus in natural medicine. She is passionate about the power of whole, nutrient dense foods and teaching others how to utilize them to meet personalized goals and achieve optimal health. Mia is a foodie, a coffee enthusiast, and enjoys spending time with her friends + family.
Jessica Trice, BSN, RN
Jessica Trice is a Registered Nurse with her BSN from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been a Cardiac Nurse for 14 years and spent the last 9 years in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Jessica joined Synergy March 2021 and has loved the opportunity to encourage participants in their journey of wellness and cardiac health. Jessica enjoys going on adventures and making memories with her husband and three children.
Abby Silvia, BSN, RN
Abby has been working as a Cardiovascular Intensive Care RN for 5 years now. She discovered lifestyle medicine about 10 years ago and her passion and belief in the power of lifestyle medicine has only grown since then. She was honored to join Synergy in March 2023 as it is inspiring to watch people take charge of their health and she feels privileged to be a part of their journey in any way she can. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their four dogs!
Amber Ponzio, MSH, ACSM EP-C
Amber Ponzio is an Exercise Physiologist and Registered Yoga Teacher. She has her master's degree in Exercise Science and Chronic Disease from the University of North Florida and is an Adjunct Professor there in the Undergraduate Exercise Science Program. Amber enjoys traveling, cooking, and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She believes that health is wealth and strives to help you on the road to a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Sara Holloway, BS, CCEP
Sara found her passion and calling for Cardiac Rehab while attending the USF exercise science and wellness leadership program. She became a Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist in 1994 and worked in traditional Cardiac Rehab prior to joining the clinical team at Synergy Intensive Cardiac Rehab. She loves encouraging and teaching patients about exercise and lifestyle changes. "It is so fulfilling to see the transformation in patients from the beginning of the program to their graduation." Sara is originally from Jacksonville and enjoys running, yoga and water sports.
Jessica Denara, MSH
Jessica received her B.S. from Ave Maria University where she played NAIA collegiate lacrosse. She then completed her master's degree in Kinesiology and Lifestyle Medicine from the University of North Florida. Jessica is passionate about promoting exercise as a form of holistic medicine. Outside of Synergy, Jessica loves to read, pickleball, yoga, CrossFit, cycle, and travel.
Sandra Parker, CYT500
Sandra Parker is a 500hr Certified Yoga Teacher with many hours of experience in leading yoga classes aimed at a beginner level population with the intention of meeting each student where they are in their life experience and physical body. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Florida and spent many years in the Insurance Industry and Kitchen and Bath Design profession. Yoga and Stress Management practices are her passion and she enjoys delivering to participants the necessary tools to begin or deepen their practice of yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques and breath practices in a supportive and compassionate environment.
Whitney Catoe, LMHC
Whitney Catoe is a Licensed Mental Health counselor. She received her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Central Florida. She has a private practice on the side and enjoys utilizing EMDR and polyvagal informed counseling approaches. She has two cats, enjoys travelling abroad and being outside.
Shoba Balaji, RDN, LDN
Shoba Balaji is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a strong commitment to promoting plant-based living through evidence-based scientific knowledge. She holds a Master of Science degree in Food Science and Nutrition from Framingham State University and completed her dietetic internship at Winthrop University. With her background in food technology and nutrition, She is adept at manipulating ingredients in recipes to adhere to various guidelines. Drawing from her multigenerational experience with plant-based living, She brings a unique perspective and also has a private practice Greenlyfe Nutrition, where she offers personalized nutrition counseling and guidance. Additionally, Shoba shares her expertise and passion for plant-based nutrition through her Instagram account, @greenlyfenutrition, where she provides valuable nutrition tips and recipes. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling with her family, walking on the beach or tending to her food forest/garden. With her blend of academic training, practical experience, and dedication to plant-based nutrition she strives to make a positive impact in promoting health and wellness within her community and beyond.
Kathryn Griffiths, RDN, LDN
Kathryn Griffiths is a licensed Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Florida with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a focus on whole food plant-based nutrition. In addition to working at Synergy Life Center, she has her own private practice offering nutrition counseling services. Kathryn's passion is driven by the belief that food is medicine and what you eat has a direct impact on overall health and wellbeing. Her personal goal is to help others prevent and manage their chronic diseases through diet and nutrition.

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