About Us

About the Center

The Bakken Center’s vision, mission and portfolio of research, education, and public engagement is interdisciplinary and closely aligned with Reimagining Health and the University of Minnesota MPact2025 strategic plan. Our focus is on driving innovation and discovery, advancing interdisciplinary education, creating new models of care, and partnering with organizations and communities throughout the state and around the world to advance health and wellbeing. Read our strategic plan for 2021 to 2026.

Founded in 1995, the Center works with interdisciplinary centers and administrative and collegiate units throughout all University of Minnesota campuses. Our faculty – nearly 70 in number – are leaders from diverse academic and clinical backgrounds, and are passionate experts in their fields.

Research

Our research program has secured more than $20 million in federal funding to conduct first-of-its-kind research in complementary and integrative health for pain management, physical activity, and other health and wellbeing behaviors. Much of the research specifically focuses on diverse and under-represented populations. The program is multidisciplinary in nature, and characterized by a rich network of local, national, and international partnerships. Team members are active in a range of local, national, and international health councils, working groups, and scientific editorial boards.

Learn about our Research

Education

The Center’s graduate programs include a Masters degree in Integrative Health Coaching and a graduate minor and certificate in integrative therapies and healing practices. Course registrations have been approximately 2,000 per year since 2017. The Center’s 70 courses draw students from every collegiate unit on campus. A major focus for the past few years has been faculty development focusing on universal design and anti-racist pedagogy.

Student mental health is a top priority. In addition to free programming, the Student Wellbeing Guide developed by the Center is distributed extensively throughout all U of MN campuses.

Read about our Education

Outreach and Public Engagement

The Center has contracts to provide services to a wide variety of organizations and communities throughout the state ranging for health care systems to business and industry, and non-profit organizations. While much of the work focuses on wellbeing, stress reduction and mindfulness, both prior and during the pandemic, a top priority has been health care provider and leader wellbeing and resilience.

For 10 years, the Center has hosted the Wellbeing Lecture Series. Recent topics include planetary health (Katherine Wilkinson from the Drawdown Project), the clinical and public health importance of social wellbeing (Julianne Holt-Lunstad), and anti-racism (Nicole Cardoza).

The Center’s Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing website reaches 2.5 million unique visitors around the world annually.

The Center offers two specializations on the Coursera platform –Integrative Health and Medicine and Integrative Nursing. Combined, there have been 117,150 unique visitors with 12,820 enrolled in courses over the past year. The conversion rate to paid enrollee continues to be higher than average for Coursera specializations.

Wellbeing for Organizations

Fiscal Management: 

For over 25 years, the Center has carefully stewarded O&M allocations, tuition, philanthropy, grant funding, and external sales revenue. The annual budget varies significantly depending on grant activity. While this years’ growth is higher due to new awards, the Center consistently averages 3-5% growth annually. O&M allocations are typically 5-6% of our annual revenue with 94-95% earned through tuition, contracts, philanthropy, and grants. A specific breakdown of revenue and expense categories appears in the charts that follow. The total FY 21 budget was $5.3 million. The FY 22 budget will exceed $6 million. 

Reporting Relationship:

The Bakken Center reports to Dr. Connie Delaney, the dean of the School of Nursing.

FY21 Projected expenses and revenues

In Wellbeing U, our newest free online learning experience, you'll learn about thriving in life and at work, making changes that stick, wellbeing in the workplace, and how mindfulness can make a difference. Watch the introduction video here.

A Focus on Wellbeing

At the Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, wellbeing permeates everything we do. Wellbeing is a state of balance or alignment in body, mind and spirit. In this state, we feel content; connected to purpose, people and community; peaceful and energized; resilient and safe. In short, we are flourishing.

Our personal wellbeing - as well as the wellbeing of our families, the organizations in which we work, and the communities in which we live - is influenced by many factors illustrated in our Wellbeing Model.

You may explore our interactive Wellbeing Model on our Taking Charge of Your Health & Wellbeing website.

Wellbeing Model Wheel

Community Presence

THE CENTER works within communities to extend the reach of our educational offerings and research. We co-create with community centers, grassroots groups, and local leaders to provide rich opportunities to improve community health and wellbeing.

Examples Include