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Our Vision

To advance the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities through integrative health and healing





Center for Spirituality & Healing

enriches health and wellbeing by prov iding exemplar y

interprofessional education, conducting rigorous research, delivering innovative engagement programs and

advancing integrative models of care. +++

about us

wellb eing at the cor e At the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing, wellbeing permeates everything we do.

With nearly two decades of experience in healthcare innovation, the Center has played a pivotal role in improving the health and wellbeing of people, organizations and communities locally, nationally and internationally. Our remarkable faculty, experts drawn from the University and community, are committed

“The Center has always been ahead of its time. The environment is demanding the type of thinking that is happening in the Center.” David W. Moen, MD, President, Bluestone Solutions, Center Advisory Board +++

to innovation, service and social change. In 1995, the field, then called “complementary and alternative medicine,” or “CAM,” was newly emerging. Individuals were demanding information and services and found healthcare providers uninformed and lacking credible resources. Few universities or hospitals had programs. The University of Minnesota, a well-known pioneer in health, recognized this void and decided to act boldly. Through the early vision of our leaders, the Center for Spirituality & Healing was founded with a broad focus on improving health and wellbeing through the lenses of spirituality, culture and integrative healing practices - its name reflecting a larger canvas for change and innovation. We received strong support from the University and a community that believed in our work and wanted to make it happen.


Discover + Learn +

Engage + Partner

Aligned with the University’s

Through transformational

mission of education, research and service,

courses and programs, care model

the Center is a pioneer in forging new paths for

innovation and impactful research, the Center

interprofessional education and research – breaking

plays a key role in the University of Minnesota,

down silos and disciplinary boundaries. Our diverse

the Academic Health Center and the broader

and multidisciplinary faculty strive to advance

community as a catalyst and a convener, raising

health and wellbeing all over the world.

critical questions and facilitating the conversations core to addressing them.

Wellbeing “Wellbeing includes all aspects of health - physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Our state of wellbeing, however, includes much more than health. It is also impacted by our sense of purpose, the quality of our relationships, the vitality of our community, our perception of safety and security and the environment in which we live.” Mary Jo Kreitzer Director, Center for Spirituality & Healing

Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN © 2012 – 2017 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.

center for spirituality & healing

about us

Center Founder and Director

Mary Jo Kreitzer Center for Spirituality & Healing

administration, and her master’s

founder and director, Mary Jo

and bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN, has more

In addition to her Center role, she

than 40 years of leadership and

is a tenured professor in the School

expertise in healthcare. Dr. Kreitzer

of Nursing, and is co-director of the

has been a nurse, teacher, healthcare

doctorate in nursing practice (DNP)

administrator and consistently

program in integrative health and

funded researcher. Most importantly,

healing, a collaboration between the

Health Reform” as well as the

she is an internationally recognized

School and the Center.

Institute of Medicine Summit titled “Integrative Medicine and the Health

leader, groundbreaking pioneer and innovator in the field of integrative

From 2004-2007, Dr. Kreitzer served

health and wellbeing.

as the vice-chair of the Consortium

of the Public”.

of Academic Health Centers for

She is frequently asked to address

Dr. Kreitzer earned her doctoral

Integrative Medicine. In 2009, she

public audiences as well as academic

degree in public health focused on

testified at a US Senate hearing


health services research, policy and

titled “Integrative Health: Pathway to


Collaborating to Achieve the Mission of the University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the translation of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.

The University’s mission, carried out on multiple campuses and throughout the state, is threefold:

Research and Discovery


Teaching and Learning


Outreach and Public Service

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing – an integral unit within the Academic Health Center – strongly supports the University’s mission by generating knowledge, educating students and serving the greater community through accessible and relevant outreach programs.


What does this mean for Minnesotans? Well-educated, collaborative healthcare professionals providing whole person care, cutting-edge research driving the economic engine that is Minnesota’s health industry and, ultimately, healthier families and communities.

A Vital Part of the University’s Academic Health Center The University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center is composed of six schools and colleges that educate health professionals. These include the School of Dentistry, the Medical School, the School of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Public Health and the College of Veterinary Medicine. It is also home to rich and vibrant interdisciplinary centers and institutes that focus on specific fields of study including the Masonic Cancer Center, the BioMedical Genomics Center and the Center for Spirituality & Healing. The Academic Health Center is one of the most comprehensive academic health centers in the nation and a leader in interprofessional education – health professionals and students work and learn together.

Part of a Rich History: The Academic Health Center’s international reputation is built upon a long tradition of leadership in healthcare discovery and delivery – a rich history that includes the Center for Spirituality & Healing. From the world’s first successful open heart surgery, to the development of one of the most widely used anti-HIV drugs, our health professionals have made many discoveries that have impacted the health of people and animals worldwide.

center for spirituality & healing


“ T he important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” Albert Einstein

discover our research: dr i v i ng i n novat ion and t r a nsfor m at ion Discovery is critical for advancing integrative health and wellbeing. Really, it is essential to improving lives. At the Center for Spirituality & Healing, we are committed to exploring integrative health and wellbeing in the context of rigorous science.

In addition to conducting research projects, the Center helps health professional students learn how to evaluate evidence and counsel patients from an evidenceinformed perspective.


We understand that direct experience and investigation help us learn from the world’s diverse healing traditions and inform practice. The Center serves as a catalyst for scientific discovery and scholarly endeavors in integrative health and wellbeing within the University of Minnesota and beyond. Whether the activity is based within our Center, Pharmacy, Food Science and Nutrition or even at another institution, we seek to provide support and partnership to bolster the University’s contributions to the evidence base for spirituality, healing and integrative therapies.

Center research efforts are driven by the diverse interests of our faculty who are engaged in basic science, clinical trials and health services research. We have been successful in attaining National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding in a highly competitive field. NIH-funded studies have focused on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction in Caregivers of Alzheimer’s Patients, utilizing the Turkey-Tail Mushroom to enhance quality of life and longevity for breast cancer patients and the impact of music as an intervention for adults in ICUs and on mechanical ventilators. Illustrative of our commitment to partnership, in 2004, the Center was awarded a NIH Center grant (Developmental Center for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine) that included a collaboration with Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. Beyond NIH

“The Sime Fellowship gave me dedicated time to begin a research program in essential oils. I applied for and received funding from the University of Minnesota for a pilot study of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) in wounds infected with Staphylococcus aureus. Without the fellowship, it is hard to imagine that I would have been able to complete the extensive background work required by the FDA to obtain approval for studying tea tree oil as an Investigational New Drug” Linda Halcon, PhD, MPH, RN, is a faculty member in the Center for Spirituality & Healing and Director of Graduate Studies for the Graduate Minor in Integrative Therapies and Healing Practices. She is also an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing.

funding, faculty have been successful in attracting private support for research projects. Pioneers in their field, Center faculty have twice received Investigational New Drug status (IND) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct clinical trials using natural products.

Learn more about the ongoing and completed research projects at the Center by visiting

center for spirituality & healing


“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

William Butler Yeats

le arn teaching st u de n ts , prof e ssiona l s and the com m u n i t y catalyst for change As a leader in health and wellbeing, the Center for Spirituality & Healing constantly strives to provide students, professionals and the

“One of the main reasons I came to the University of Minnesota was the Center for Spirituality & Healing. The Center demonstrated how we can take the best of two worlds and bring them together – it’s moving medicine in a new direction.”

community with transformational learning opportunities. Our faculty are renowned in their fields, passionate about broadening their students’ world view and educating them to succeed in the future’s interprofessional, team-based work environments.

Justin Laube, MD +++


Medical students on the integrative medicine rotation in Hawaii. This unique learning opportunity is supported by Earl Bakken, co-founder of Medtronic, Inc.

The Center’s graduate minor in Integrative Therapies and Healing Practices was the first of its kind. We also offer a graduatelevel certificate and formal track in health coaching as well as undergraduate concentrations in holistic health and whole-systems healing. Whether you are a University of Minnesota graduate or undergraduate student, a student at another university, a health professional, or just someone driven to learn, we welcome you to join us in any of our more than 50 academic courses.

“I know of no other school that offers a program like the Center’s Hawaii clinical rotation for medical students. Being culturally aware opened my eyes to the need for practitioners to communicate better with their patients by giving them knowledge in more than just the standard, conventional approach to health and wellness.”

Many of our intensive courses are held in unique settings. They are

Ben Baechler, MD, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, Smiley’s Family Medicine Residency

hubs of interprofessionalism – it’s not unusual to find students from


Our courses are offered in traditional, online or blended formats.

ten or more disciplines learning together. With their reflective and often experiential approaches and highly engaged faculty and students, the Center’s courses provide opportunities for both informational and

More information about

transformational learning.

educational opportunities can be found at

center for spirituality & healing


“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

engag e serving the l a rge r com m u n i t y

“Partnering with the Center of Spirituality & Healing has been vital in introducing a more holistic approach to patient care, as well as offering adjunct therapies to help our patients deal with pain and the stressors of their illnesses. Our goals are aligned which makes the process easier and more rewarding.” Judy Wagner, DNP, NP, Congestive Heart Failure Clinic, Minneapolis VA Health Care System +++


Public engagement is core to the mission of the University of Minnesota and the Center for Spirituality & Healing. For the Center, engaging is an exchange. It extends the reach of our learning opportunities and research, while ensuring that diverse perspectives and voices from the community inform the Center’s work. Focused around the theme Taking Charge of Your

Health, the Center’s public engagement activities encompass online resources, formal programs such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and the Purpose Project, the Wellbeing Lecture Series and other sponsored lectures and events. Audiences are typically made up of healthcare professionals, consumers, faculty, staff and students, numbering more than 15,000 each year.

Taking charge of your health The Taking Charge of Your Health site provides accurate and credible information and tools to improve your wellbeing.

Funded by Life Science Foundation, sections include: + Creating a healthy lifestyle + Exploring healing practices, and + Navigating the healthcare system

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: Connecting research to the community “My dad has Alzheimer’s, and my mom is his primary caregiver,” said Heidi Novak, a women’s health nurse practitioner, who works with highrisk populations in a multicultural clinic in north Minneapolis. Heidi realized that her mother was experiencing a great deal of stress as a caregiver at the same time the Center was

conducting an NIH study with HealthPartners on the effects of stress on caregivers. “The timing of the study coincided with things happening in my own life. Through the Center’s study, my mom learned about meditation, and they did yoga together. The study involved blood tests, checked some stress hormones, and my

mom found it to be a very valuable experience. I found the study valuable as well, because with my mom’s stress level lower, my stress was decreased,” she said. Through the course of the study, Heidi’s mother learned that it

“The Center has offered us help that makes us able to deal more readily with the stress of dealing with a chronic illness,” Heidi said.

For more information about

was important for the caregiver to focus on their own health, as well as that of the patient.

the Center’s programs and events, visit

center for spirituality & healing


“Unity is strength ... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” Mattie Stepanek

partn e r working together to advance h e a lt h and w e l l be i ng

“The Center for Spirituality & Healing has been instrumental in guiding us through the development and implementation of integrative therapies in our nursing practice. Mary Jo Kreitzer and the faculty from the Center are generous with their wisdom and expertise. We feel privileged to count them as friends and mentors.” Ellen L. Schellinger Sanford Health +++


Improving the health and wellbeing of individuals, organizations and communities requires many hands. At the Center for Spirituality & Healing, we have forged strategic partnerships with other universities, corporations, healthcare systems and health plans to broaden our reach. The Center is also a founding member of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine. We regularly collaborate with community groups of all kinds to further our discovery and engagement efforts.

In addition, the Center works with a variety of clients ranging from small businesses to clinics and health systems to Fortune 500 companies, providing consultations, products and services in the areas of stress reduction, optimal healing environments, arts in healing, care model innovation, leadership development and integrative therapies and healing practices. Inspired by designthinking principles, our approach in working with clients is to build capacity, as well as sustainability, by actively engaging them at every stage of our process. This partnership produces effective outcomes that are “co-created” and tailored to their unique needs.

The Center has developed a wide array of programs, services and products.



Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR)

Consultation • Care Model Innovation

• Standard 8 week course

• Optimal Healing Environments

• Telephone and web-based options

• Technical Support

• Mindfulness at Work • MBSR II (for ongoing support of MBSR graduates) • Adaptive mindfulness programs for specific populations • Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery

Taking Charge of Your Health (TCOYH) Workshops Purpose Project Workshops Wellbeing Leadership Speaker Presentations

products Wellscapes DVDs and iApps

Continuing Education • Introduction to integrative therapies and healing practices

• Optimal healing environments

Developed with Senior Fellow Craig Blacklock, the Wellscapes iApp lets you access the healing power of nature anywhere at any time.

• Introduction to and clinical application of:

Meditation CDs

• Principles of holistic care

o o o o o o o o o

Acupressure Aromatherapy Imagery Massage Therapy Mindfulness Music Therapy Nature-Based Therapies Reiki Traditional Chinese Medicine

TCOYH Website Health Professional Online Modules

Evaluation and Research

“The Waters Senior Living is dedicated to providing residents with an experience that embraces the evolution of living well. The Center for Spirituality & Healing is a cutting-edge, crucial partner for us in shaping this experience. With support from their innovative team, we are able to access information, research, expertise and technology that independently we could only dream of.“ The Waters’ President, Lynn Carlson Schell +++

“The Center has opened our eyes to the world of wellbeing and the potential for us all to simply feel better. We have also learned how to thrive and grow with limited resources through the story of the Center’s ability to do just that.” Karen Poel, Lifetime Fitness, Center Advisory Board

For more information please, visit

center for spirituality & healing


“W hen courage, genius, and generosity hold hands, all things are possible.�


su pport us help us t r a nsfor m l i v e s

At the Center for Spirituality & Healing, we transform lives. Time and again, we are told that a course was the turning point in a

Your gift will ensure that the Center remains at the forefront of education, research and care model innovation.

career; an integrative practice altered a healing process; a new care model invigorated a health system; and a talk or conversation helped to shape policy. Advancing health and wellbeing is a bold and innovative strategy destined to achieve fundamental and sustainable change at the individual and system level. While tuition and grant funds support the Center’s core education and research activities, philanthropic support has been pivotal in launching new and innovative initiatives.

We invite you to help us create healthcare systems, organizations and communities where people flourish. Inaugural recipients of the George Fellowship to Advance Nurse Leaders in Integrative Health and Healing. This fellowship is funded by the George Family Foundation.


Gifts for Leadership + Secure the Center’s future by endowing a chair whose responsibilities include forging a visionary pathway, directing the Center and advancing policy and programs that advance

“The Sime Scholarship provides students a chance to conduct research in the field of integrative health. This scholarship provided support to pursue a cutting-edge question in the realm of cognitive psychology and mindfulness. I investigated MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) on attention for emotional pictures, a question that could hold interest for educators and the ADHD community. The scholarship provided financial support for the project, but it also provided emotional support and a network as well. I forged new alliances, met great people and had the support of a community that is thriving. I was able to meet and work with some of the best researchers in the field, including my Center advisor, Dr. Mary Jo Kreitzer, and learn from great meditation teachers such as Erik Storlie. This was an incredible opportunity, and the support of all the center members was integral in helping this project become a reality.�

health and wellbeing

+ Produce our Wellbeing Lecture series which brings provocative visionaries to Minnesota and develops tools and strategies for disseminating wellbeing knowledge

Gifts for Transformational Learning + Provide undergraduate, graduate and professional students with opportunities for life-changing interprofessional education by attracting and retaining remarkable faculty

+ Support scholarships for students who are poised to apply their ideas and methodologies to real workplace challenges

Gifts for Research and Innovation + Create new models of care that are patient-centered, financially sustainable and replicable

+ Generate new knowledge that deepens our understanding

Alvina Brueggemann, PhD Sime Scholarship Recipient

around the science of wellbeing and practices that support wellbeing and human flourishing

We seek philanthropic support from partners who share our vision of transforming lives and systems.

To discuss opportunities,

You may also make

please contact our

an online contribution

development office at

directly through the

612. 624. 1121

University of Minnesota Foundation

center for spirituality & healing

The healing power of nature Photos cover, page 7, 9 and 16 © Craig Blacklock, from his award-winning book, Pictured Rocks — From Land and Sea, available at Photo page 3 © Craig Blacklock, from his award-winning book, Apostle Islands — From Land and Sea, available at Craig Blacklock is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Spirituality & Healing.


Center for Spirituality & Healing Overview  

Interested in learning more about the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing? We've provided this overview booklet for...

Center for Spirituality & Healing Overview  

Interested in learning more about the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality & Healing? We've provided this overview booklet for...