Impact of Philanthropy

The Center for Spirituality & Healing has been fortunate to work with philanthropists who have made significant, personal commitments toward strategic changes in healthcare. They care deeply about integrative health and healing, and typically serve as active partners to ensure that their investments advance the Center’s work to new levels of performance and impact. Here are a few examples:

Educating the Next Generation of Professionals

In 2010, the George Family Foundation made a pioneering investment in nursing leadership that will be implemented over six years (through 2015). Their grant will support two annual approaches: 1) fellowships for nursing students who are completing their final year of the Doctorate in Nursing Practice program and are specializing in Integrative Health and Healing; and 2) Co-curricular workshops designed to explore topics relevant to leadership in the integrative health and healing arena. The new fellowship program will provide unprecedented clinical and professional development opportunities to more than forty nurse leaders both nationally and abroad, while the accompanying co-curricular program will bring pioneering thought leaders to Minnesota to educate nursing leaders in the values and challenges of integrative health and wellbeing. These activities will impact hundreds more nurses who will be invited to participate.

Generating New Knowledge through Research

An emeritus faculty member, A. Marilyn Sime, established the Center’s first scholarship fund with resources to support students who are preparing for careers in research. Sime scholars define plans that will generate new knowledge and evidence in a dimension of integrative health and healing practice. In addition, Dr. Sime created a research fellowship that supports one faculty member for half of their time over the course two years. With that time and resources, faculty can work in-depth to explore their research interests in integrative health and healing, secure national grants and publish/present results. Sime Fellows have conducted research in many areas including music therapy, natural products (tea tree oil), and Reiki therapy.

Engaging the Broader Community

In May 2011, the Center, in collaboration with the Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota, hosted the public first visit of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to Minnesota in ten years. From all perspectives, the three days of celebration, education, dialogue, worship and connection were spectacular. More than 20,000 people attended a variety of events at the University and throughout the broader community. In addition to this experience, several donors, including Ruth Stricker Dayton of the Marsh and the architectural firm of AECOM/Ellerbe Becket provide annual support for scholarly lectures. The Life Science Foundation has collaborated with the Center to bring a consumer-focused website called “Taking Charge of Your Health” to audiences hungry for credible information.