HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas A&M University System, and Texan by Nature are partnering to form the Center for Health & Nature. They will work together to advance health and nature research and education. The Center for Health & Nature will publish research outcomes and provide actionable guidance to clinicians, conservationists, and policymakers with the vision to implement evidence-based health and nature programs to complement the full continuum of health and healthcare: prevention, treatment, and recovery.
The visionary leaders of the three organizations, Dr. Marc Boom, Chancellor John Sharp, and former First Lady Laura Bush shared that the four main goals of The Center are to:
- Create a Health & Nature Healing Garden at Houston Methodist to support the health, healing, and well-being of patients and caregivers by giving them access to nature within their healthcare environment. During the 2018 spring semester, senior students in the Texas A&M University Landscape Architecture department were part of the effort to create holistic plans to make the vision for the garden a reality. The students’ work will be recognized May 2, 2018.
- Convene an annual Health & Nature Symposium to bring together national and international research experts to explore the effects of nature on human health and healing. The Center for Health & Nature was conceptualized as an outcome of the 2016 Health & Nature Symposium that gathered parties from academia and the private/public sector to transform health care with evidence-based programs. Outcomes from the Center for Health & Nature will be presented at future Symposia.
- Launch the Center for Health & Nature and the Cardiovascular Health & Nature Research Proof of Concept Program. This pilot research program will explore the health effects of nature on cardiovascular wellness and healing. The success of this pilot program will lay the foundation for future research to assess health effects of nature in other areas such as neurodegeneration, immune system and inflammation-based disease, and mental well-being and healing. The first pilot research project will examine the effect of the exposure to nature on health outcomes of women 65 and older with certain types of heart failure.
- Create the Center for Health & Nature Collaborative Research Fund to provide competitive research funding for health and nature research projects that advance The Center's mission to improve health and healing through nature.
“Nature contact brings many health benefits, from better birth outcomes to less depression to longer life expectancy. But the evidence isn’t yet all in. We need just the kind of research this Center will do— research that can guide practical public health strategies for years to come,“ says Dr. Howard Frumkin, International leader on health and nature research, former Dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, and head of the “Our Planet, Our Health” program at the Wellcome Trust in London.
The Center for Health & Nature will be housed within the Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist Hospital. The Center for Outcomes Research is a partnership between Houston Methodist and the Texas A&M University School of Public Health, under the leadership of Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE. The mission of the Center for Outcomes Research is to conduct applied team research, develop researchers, and exert national leadership towards innovations in healthcare that improve health outcomes for diverse patient populations globally. The new partnership and healing garden design will be celebrated May 2, 2018 at Houston Methodist Hospital in the Walter Tower.
About Houston Methodist Hospital: Houston Methodist comprises a leading academic medical center in the Texas Medical Center and six community hospitals serving the Greater Houston area. Each hospital is staffed by committed personnel who exemplify our I CARE values: integrity, compassion, accountability, respect, and excellence. Patient safety, quality, and service are our highest priorities. Houston Methodist Hospital, the system's flagship, is consistently listed among U.S. News & World Report's best hospitals, and we extend that same level of quality care across the system.
About The Texas A&M University System: The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.55 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M University System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $972 million in FY 2016 and helped drive the state’s economy.
About Texan by Nature: Texan by Nature unites business and conservation leaders who believe Texas’ prosperity is dependent on the conservation of its natural resources. Texan by Nature amplifies projects and activates new investment in conservation which return real benefits for people, prosperity, and natural resources. Texan by Nature achieves mission goals through the Texan by Nature Certification program, Conservation Wrangler program and Symposia Series. Get involved and learn more at www.texanbynature.org and follow on Facebook @TexanbyNature, Twitter @TexanbyNature, Instagram @texanbynature.