March 23, 2011

Integrative Health POINTS — Exemplar programs and people who are driving health-creating stakes into their local landscapes. They demonstrate that vitality-enhancing health outcomes are going to come almost entirely from outside the health care enterprise itself.

Willow School, Gladstone, NJ

Green as the basis for K-8 hands-on stewardship
When Willow School designed and built the first independent school to win the LEED gold designation, it was just getting started. Its focus on stewardship and sustainability moved Reuters to suggest it would an “incubator for tomorrow’s green leaders.”

Prickly Pear Creek, Montana

Sustainable Deals: Re-Watering Western Streams
Market-based partnerships like this one show the potential for resolving historic impasses that have compromised ecological health. In this case, putting water back in dried out stream beds.

Henry Ford Hospital, West Bloomfield, MI

The Hospital as Center of Local Wellness?
Hospitals don’t get paid for delivering integrative therapies or providing wellness-centric services; at least not so far. Henry Ford has adopted a serious nutrition-oriented food program and is carefully designing its facilities as healing spaces. Such investments reflect a slowly shifting vision for the future roles for the pre-eminent health care institutions in most cities and towns.

Naperville Central High School, Illinois

PhysEd 2.0: Fitness-based Learning
Adopting research that shows the positive effects of exercise on cognition, Naperville physical education leaders created a test for their own students and found measurable improved academic performance.

Manassas Park Elementary, Virginia

Learning from the Outside-In
Perhaps someday a green school’s community involvement in maintaining itself may become as perfunctory as tossing sweat socks into a hamper for someone else to take care of.  Right now though having such a place to teach and learn within, as at Manassas Park, creates perhaps unexpected flights of possibility.

Edible Schoolyards, USA

Growing Scientists in School Gardens?
For educators, business leaders, and policy makers concerned about the under-performance of US students in science and math, they might be surprised what they find during a walk through a school garden.