The Institute identifies promising ideas that develop from our Forums, Scholars Program, and Trainings and tests them in community-based models for integrative health.
BMore BWell is a set of Baltimore-based initiatives in support of community health and well-being.
Our collaboration with the national HealthCorps organization brings highly trained recent college graduates into Baltimore high schools as health educators and peer mentors. These young individuals make a two-year commitment to fostering nutrition, physical activity, and mental resilience in a high school community through high-quality, creative curriculum, after-school activities, a lively cooking competition, and engaging a large stakeholder network.
BMore BWell has placed peer mentors in Baltimore Freedom Academy and Patterson High School.
TIIH augments the HealthCorps model locally with experiential training in self-care and stress reduction. Staff members facilitate an eight-session continuing education program in Mind-Body Skills for Baltimore and Washington, DC, peer mentors and certain faculty in their schools. The training introduces mindfulness meditation, active listening, guided imagery, simple movement, drawing, and journaling as approaches to self-reflection, relaxation, and the prevention of burn-out. These same approaches can then be used with high school students in support of mental resilience.
BMore BWell schools also benefit from consultation with TIIH Scholars, as appropriate; and continuing education and networking through TIIH and selected Baltimore partnerships. The goal is student, faculty, staff and family engagement in support of health, education, and lifelong well-being.
At the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Md., physicians are using state-of-the-art science and technology to treat the “invisible wounds” of war: traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The healing and restorative power of the natural environment can be a robust ally to WRNMMC’s sophisticated medical treatments.
The Green Road project—a serene woodland environment winding through the campus of WRNMMC—will provide this essential component of holistic care, serving as an oasis of respite for our nation’s Wounded Warriors, their families and all who spend time on the campus. This natural engagement, for those who have sacrificed for our protection, is of a sacred character.
The Institute for Integrative Health is teaming with medical professionals, architects, engineers, researchers and other specialists to bring the Green Road to life. Key activities include restoring an existing stream, creating a streamside wheelchair/walking path, and establishing a central “healing zone.” The sylvan enclave will feature lawns, overlooks, and places for commemoration and contemplation.
For more information about the Green Road, contact Institute Scholar Fred Foote at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conversations on Health is our attempt to get underneath the broad assumptions and positions of groups concerned with healthcare, in order to probe and learn from the actual experience and perceptions of a wide range of engaged individuals. The project maintains an ongoing schedule of in-person discussions with key stakeholders, providing a confidential space to discuss fundamental questions, such as, “What is health, really?” and “How do you envision a healthcare system to meet the nation’s real health needs?” This dialogue is invaluable in developing new knowledge while sensitizing the public and decision-makers alike to the significance of Integrative Medicine in addressing the healthcare crisis in the U.S. Among participants in the first 12 Conversations on Health (Fall 2008 – Summer 2009) were physicians, healthcare policy experts, corporate leaders, a nurse-midwife, a social worker, and an attorney. Here is a summary of findings that have influenced the Institute’s future direction.
Lessons learned from the Conversations helped to inform the testimony of Dr. Brian Berman and Susan Berman before the United Sates Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) public hearing on “Principles of Integrative Health: a Path to Health Care Reform” (February 23, 2009. A video of that day’s testimony can be seen at the HELP committee’s web site.) The Conversations pointed us to a range of issues needing the attention of policy-makers and reformers, such as:
- The need for improved consumer access to health information;
- Better reimbursement for primary care and prevention, covering a broader range of health care practitioners and health care modalities;
- Investment in research that has direct impact on translating knowledge into prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease; and
Investment in research transforming front-line healthcare by recognizing five major factors in health and well-being: environment, behavior, genetics, social circumstances and healthcare. As an example, we were able to cite efforts such as the Howard County, Maryland, Health Department’s Healthy Howard initiative and Lockheed Martin’s LMHealthWorks program, already promoting wellness and providing resources to foster the health of individuals and families.