To be a world-renowned resource that enhances health and well-being by educating health professionals, empowering consumers, and fundamentally transforming the delivery of health care through the creation of interdisciplinary academic, research, clinical care, and outreach programs that advance integrative health and healing.
A part of the Academic Health Center, the Center for Spirituality & Healing draws on the rich expertise of faculty and community practitioners to advance our understanding of diverse cultures, beliefs and health practices, and builds on the University's strengths of innovation and clinical excellence.
Generating new Knowledge through Research:
• The Center has been designated by the NIH as a Developmental Center for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a distinction attained by only five institutions in the U.S.
• Fifty faculty – drawn from over 12 academic units across the University – have appointments within the Center. Areas of research include mind/body interventions, natural products (herbs, mushrooms and essential oils), music and healing, health coaching, CAM use in ethnic and minority populations, and health outcomes of integrative care in a residential eating disorder program.
Educating Health Professionals:
• Through the effort of the Center, students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine and public health now study integrative medicine as part of their curricula. This will have a significant impact on the future of healthcare as the University of Minnesota prepares 80 percent of health professionals in the state.
• The Center’s website offers on-line modules on integrative health topics that are widely accessed by health systems and universities worldwide. These modules were developed with funding from a five-year NIH grant.
• The Center offers a graduate minor and a graduate certificate program that attract students from diverse disciplines including health sciences, business, law, music, architecture and design, counseling, food science and nutrition, and psychology. Of the more than 45 courses offered, students can self-design programs focusing on topics including mind/body healing, spirituality, culturally-based healing traditions, and energy medicine.
• The Center has a strategic scope and influence that reaches internationally. Culturally-based learning opportunities are offered in Hawaii, India, and Peru. This past summer, the Holistic Health & Healing week-long institute welcomed students from Canada, England, Germany, Hong Kong, and Japan. The Center has also hosted visiting scholars from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Tibet.
• Programs, workshops, and lectures focus on helping consumers “Take Charge of Their Health.” Our consumer website, created by nationally recognized healthcare experts, invites visitors to explore complementary therapies, create a healthy lifestyle, and learn how to navigate the health care system.
• Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs are offered by the Center on the U of M campus, in corporate settings, in partnership with the Mayo Clinic, at The Marsh, and at other local facilities.
• Free drop-in “Stress Buster” sessions are offered weekly to students, faculty, and staff in various campus locations.
• Outreach programs, including the annual Ruth Stricker Mind-Body lecture and The Purpose Project, reach over 10,000 people annually.
Impacting Health Care Policy and Reimbursement:
• Center faculty are at the forefront of engaging legislators and health care leaders to champion the importance of increasing access to integrative services. The Center faculty and staff hosted a hearing for the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine, contributed to the Institute of Medicine’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Panel, and have testified at state and national legislative hearings.
• The Center’s Community Advisory Network hosts dialogues and panels on topics critical to advancing integrative medicine – such as access to and reimbursement for integrative healthcare. The network provides a unique opportunity for clinicians, community leaders, health plan representatives, and legislators to explore this topic of common and strategic interest.
Creating Optimal Health Environments:
• The Center provides consultation services to hospitals and health systems, helping them explore new ways to deliver integrative care.
• Through collaboration with the University’s College of Design and a locally-based international architecture & design firm, the Center offers a graduate course that teaches health care leaders and designers on how to create optimal healing environments that integrate evidence-based design and healing practices.
Partnering with the Community:
• The Center has forged extensive partnerships and collaborations within multiple communities – providing speakers for local, national, and international conferences while educating the broader community through lecture series, workshop experiences, and ongoing programs.
• The Center has been engaged by numerous corporations to bring in speakers and program offerings as well as to provide ongoing support for corporate wellness initiatives.
• The Center is a partner in the University-wide “Wellness Works” program that promotes the well-being of the University community.