Center for Health & Nature2018-08-28T18:20:55+00:00
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Texas A&M Health Science Center logo

Center for Health & Nature

The mission of the Center for Health & Nature, a collaboration between Houston Methodist, Texan by Nature, and the Texas A&M Health Science Center, is to drive research to study the impact of nature on health with evidence-based programs that complement the full continuum of health care: prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Houston Methodist logo
Texan by Nature logo
Texas A&M Health Science Center logo

Center Initiatives

Health & Nature Healing Gardens

Gardens in health care environments provide welcome sanctuaries for caregivers, patients and their families. This access to nature has been shown to reduce stress and support wellness and healing. The Center partners have planned a flagship rooftop healing garden at Houston Methodist Hospital using evidence-based design and Texas native plants. The design was developed with Texas A&M landscape architecture students and informed by Texan by Nature conservationists.

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Annual Health & Nature Symposium

The Center convenes an annual health and nature symposium to bring together national and international research experts to advance the science of the interplay between exposure to natural environments and its impact on health and healing. Collaborative teams present research project ideas and results from ongoing projects for discussion with researchers, policy makers, and the community.

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Our Research

The Center conducts research in three key areas: nature in preventative medicine, the health role of nature in urban environments, and nature-based intervention for disease management. The Center for Health & Nature Collaborative Research Innovation Fund supports multi-institutional pilot projects that bring together leading experts to tackle key questions in the field of health and nature with evidence we can use to inform solid public health, public policy, and conservation strategies. Learn more about our pilot projects below.

Pilot Research Projects

The Center for Health & Nature Collaborative Research Innovation Fund provides competitive research funding for health and nature research projects that advance the mission to improve health and healing through nature.

Designing Systems to Prevent Physician and Nurse Burnout Study

Burnout is estimated to affect more than half of practicing physicians and nurses. The responsibility for the health and well-being of fellow human beings is stressful and requires strong support programs. This study will assess the effectiveness of a stress-management program that incorporates short periods of time in healing gardens into working schedules to increase physician and nurse resiliency.

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Heart Health Nature Study

As part of the Cardiovascular Health & Nature Research Program, this study assesses the effects of natural elements in patient waiting rooms on patient stress before medical appointments. The ability of exposure to nature to provide emotional support can be measured by changes in stress hormone levels, blood pressure, and heart rate.

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Support Our Work

There are many ways to get involved and support our mission. Collaborate on garden projects, sponsor or attend our symposium, or make a contribution to the Center for Health & Nature Collaborative Research Innovation Fund to support research projects that help us understand the connection between nature and health. Contact us for more information.

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