Institute News

Academic Programs, September 2019

August S&F Meeting: When Academia Meets Nature


 The summer the Institute Scholars and Fellows meeting focused on climate change and health. While visiting the Mount Washington Arboretum, the group experienced Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, a guided, reflective session to experience nature through the senses. Clare Kelley, MPH, founder and director of DC Forest Bathing, guided the experience.

During the meeting, Scholar Sara Warber also presented on her work on a new project, Dreams of Nature, Health, and a Balanced Life, and Fellow Heidi Gullett spoke about climate change and the health training she leads for medical students. Other highlights from the meeting included a talk on neuroesthetics, as well as the impact of mindfulness practice on inflammation, and an overview of the Feldenkrais Methoda somatic learning practice with many therapeutic effects including pain management.

Culinary Health & Medicine Program, September 2019

Cooking Up Health with CH&M Workshops

The Institute recently welcomed more than 125 first- and second-year medical students from the University of Maryland School of Medicine for its new culinary medicine workshop, Culinary Health & Medicine (CH&M) program. This program is a partnership between the Institute, the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Terra’s Kitchen, and Performance FoodService-Maryland. The CH&M programs work to revolutionize medical student training by embedding this instructive and experiential culinary nutrition class in the required Introduction to Clinical Medicine course. During the class, students explore culinary medicine applications in patient care, examine popular diets, discover scientific evidence supporting the Mediterranean diet, and practice preparing healthy recipes in a hands-on cooking lab.

After the course, 87% of the students said that they would utilize the new information in their own lives, while 80% of the students said that it would also help them offer practical nutrition advice to future patients. The Institute will continue hosting the workshops through the winter with plans of rolling out a more substantial training for the next incoming cohort of medical students in 2020.

Academic Programs, 9/26/2019

Institute Welcomes New Visiting Visionary, Rebecca Etz, PhD

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We are pleased to welcome Rebecca Etz, PhD, as the Institute’s inaugural Visiting Visionary! As a cultural anthropologist who specializes in primary care practice transformation and patient-centered care, Dr. Etz serves as the Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Larry A. Green Center in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a Visiting Visionary, she will partner with national primary care, policy, and scientific leaders to grow and articulate the intellectual foundations and guiding principles for the next generation of primary care.

Mission Thrive, 9/26/19

Leading With Service


Mission Thrive Summer (MTS), the Institute’s "work, learn, and earn" program for Baltimore City high school students, just wrapped its seventh summer at Civic Works Real Food Farm. This summer employment program aims to provide young people with tools to make healthier individual choices and to empower communities in Baltimore through leadership, education, and service.

As in past years, the youth of MTS participated in our annual MTS Service Week. This week introduced participants to community service activities and engaging them in opportunities to help uplift individuals within their own communities. MTS crew members explored the concept of service while brainstorming ways to get Greenmount West Community Center (GWCC) summer camp youth excited about healthier eating through USDA MyPlate food groups. They adapted MTS lessons and demonstrations, bringing in their own creativity and knowledge to create unique games and activities for the pre-K to 2nd-grade campers. The activities presented during Service Week at GWCC included coloring activities, food group dance games, and making delicious smoothies!

The MTS youth also prepared more than 2,000 meals for Moveable Feast, a local organization that provides nutritious meals to individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. During the third week of MTS, crew leaders stepped away from the farm completely to work onsite with Moveable Feast and GWCC.

Mission Thrive Summer is excited to continue educating and inspiring the future generation of leaders and change agents here in Baltimore. If you want to hear more service-related highlights or what’s in store for MTS 2020, please contact MTS coordinator Nicola Norman at nnorman@tiih.or​g or 443-681-7608.

Mission Thrive Summer, 6/25/2019

Introducing the 2019 Mission Thrive Summer Crew Leaders

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The 2019 MTS Crew Leaders

Plans are well underway with the final preparations for the 2019 Mission Thrive Summer Crew Leader Training! This training is an 80-hour integrative health program designed to provide our Mission Thrive Summer staff with a comprehensive toolkit and resources to successfully engage 30 summer youth participants in their experiential education and job experience at Real Food Farm (RFF). Some topics that will be covered in this year's training include mentorship and relationship building, inequality in the food system, motivating groups, trauma-informed practices in community programs, CPR certification, and effective communication.

The 2019 MTS Crew Leaders: Morgan Wu, Public Health major at Johns Hopkins University; Yasmin Bell, Neuro and Clinical Psychology Major at St Mary’s College; Emmanuel West, Theatre Arts major at Frostburg University; and Ryan Bowens, former Baltimore Youth Urban Debate League coach, and a graduate of Morgan State University.

This year we have invited the Baltimore Conservation Leadership Corps Crew Leaders to join us for the Crew Leader Training. We believe this integrative training can be adapted to support youth summer programming across the city.

Vet Arts Connect, 6/25/2019

Veteran-Ready Micro-Credential Training Featured in Local News Story

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The Institute's Vet Arts Connect program and the Veteran-Ready Micro-Credential Training program was featured on WMAR-TV this week. The story, which features interviews with Wendy Bohdel , Chief Operating Officer; JW Rone, Director of Veteran Initiatives; Earman Branch, veteran artist; and Alysia Lee, Coordinator of Fine Arts at the Maryland State Department of Education, discusses the power of art and healing for veterans throughout the state of Maryland and how to register for the Micro-Credential program. 

To see the interview, click here!


Maryland Offers New Micro-Credential Course For Creative Classrooms

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), the Fine Arts Office of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE), and the Institute for Integrative Health (Institute) will present the Veteran-Ready Community Arts Micro-credential course, a new suite of competency-based professional learning courses for facilitators of creative classrooms geared toward veterans. An announcement event will take place on June 19th from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Institute's headquarters in Baltimore. To RSVP for this event, send an email to
For more information about this event or to view the full press release, click here

Academic Programming, 4/1/2019

Institute Scholar Publishes Research on the Impact of Mindfulness on Physical Disease

Institute Fellow, Jeffrey Greeson, PhD, published an important review on Mindfulness and Physical Disease: A Concise Review in Current Opinion in Psychology.  The paper summarizes current research on the impact of mindfulness in the management of symptoms, treatment or prevention of various physical diseases.  The article is currently available online and for a limited time, the full article is publicly available for free here, until April 09, 2019.

Academic Programming, 4/1/2019

Institute Welcomes Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH, as Newest TIIH Fellow

The Institute is pleased to welcome Heidi Gullett, MD, MPH, of Case Western Reserve University, as our newest TIIH Fellow! Dr. Gullett, who specializes in family medicine and community health, will explore the role of primary care in cultivating social capital, to support a patient’s move out of poverty. Kurt Stange, MD, PhD, an Institute Scholar and colleague of Dr. Gullett, said “Dr. Gullett is a force for integration in a health care system and a society that is increasingly fragmented.  She works tirelessly to advance understanding about how health care and public health can work together to improve the health and equity of our communities.”

Academic Programming, 3/31/2019

TIIH President Leads Panel Discussion at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

In February, TIIH President, Brian Berman, MD, led an important panel discussion on the Reduction of Opioid Use by Acupuncture during Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: a Randomized Controlled Trial as part of an NIH workshop on Translating Fundamental Science of Acupuncture into Clinical Practice for Cancer Symptom Management, Pain, and Substance Abuse, hosted by the National Cancer Institute and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.  This event featured presentations from global research leaders in cancer pain management.

Academic Programming, 3/15/2019

Institute Scholar Leads Innovative Study on Empathetic Art and Patient Healing


Institute Scholar, Judy Rollins, RN, PhD, is leading a study to understand how art may create a more empathetic and compassionate environment that helps patients feel seen, heard, and understood. To help answer this question, two artists were asked to create empathetic artistic interpretations of the personal journeys of eight young people living with a serious medical. The resulting paintings and narratives, along with snapshots of the children’s responses have been incorporated into a thoughtful Being Heard exhibit.  Following display at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center (January – early March), the exhibit is currently on display at the Walter Reed National Military Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 

Vet Arts Connect 2/21/2019

Creative Forces & CSC Work to Heal Veterans at Walter Reed

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Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, a VAC program partner, announced an expansion of its acting program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. These acting workshops will help US veterans, their families, and their caregivers confront the challenges of injury and the emotional experiences of war. Vet Arts Connect will be on hand to collect and evaluate the data of this program. 

To read the full press release and learn more about this initiative, click here.

Academic Programming, 2/15/2019

Panel Hosted on Public Health and Violence Prevention

The February 2019 Scholars & Fellows Meeting featured a special panel on Building Relationships & Resilience: Public Health Approaches to Violence Prevention (link coming soon) discussing strategies to prevent violence with efforts that strengthen community bonds through community mobilization, outreach, public education, faith, and criminal justice community involvement. Panelists included Baltimore Ceasefire founder Erricka Bridgeford, Safe Streets outreach coordinator Dante Bridgeford, chief science officer of the Avielle Foundation Linda Deguitis, DrPH, MSN and clinical psychologist, training and technical assistance specialist for the Mid-Atlantic PBIS Network at Sheppard Pratt Health Systems clinical psychologist Duane Thomas, PhD.

Academic Programming, 2/6/2019

Discussion Panel Featuring Dr. Sandro Galea Hosted at the Institute

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On February 4th, the Institute welcomed over 100 attendees for a special evening symposium, Consequential Public Health: Doing What Matters for Population Health, featuring a keynote presentation by Sandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH, an international renowned epidemiologist and author, who spoke on the urgent need to reorient epidemiology and public health to making a difference in health outcomes and the challenges of creating real solutions to improve population health during such divided times. Following the keynote presentation, former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and Jay Perman, MD, president of the University of Maryland, will joined Dr. Galea for a panel discussion with the audience.

Vet Arts Connect 6/3/2017

The bold, the brave, The Bard: Five veterans turn to theater to tell their stories

Five Vet Arts Connect participants in the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's theater program discuss their experiences with healing using the performing arts. The "Olive Branch and Laurel Crown: Peace and War Through Shakespeare's Text" program uses the work of the Bard to explore the feelings and experiences associated with war. 

To read this in-depth article and to hear their experiences, click here.
Vet Arts Connect 10/25/2017

Veterans Hike Across Maryland: Just for the Health of It

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The Veterans Hike Across Maryland, a joint program with Vet Arts Connect and the Mid Atlantic Hiking Group, announced an end-of-program celebration to be held on Veterans Day 2017. More than 40 participants have signed up to join the final hike of the season, which will end in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. 

Veterans Hike Across Maryland began in September at the Pennsylvania/Maryland line on the Appalachian Trail. The participants completed more than 41 miles of the Appalachian Trail across five consecutive hikes. 

This annual program is free to veterans and open to all service branches, no matter of rank, gender or years served. Each participant is required to take at least three of the five hikes and participate in an evaluation process that includes surveys at the beginning and the end of the program to test for improvement in symptoms that are commonly associated with the most common invisible wounds of war including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.) 

The research from the project is designed to investigate the impact of active engagement in arts and nature activities on symptoms like stress, anxiety, depression, social interaction, sleep disturbance, and anger. 

For more information on this program, subscribe to our monthly newsletter