Bringing the Outside In

Methodology, Fall 2019

Which came first, the rooftop garden or the directional sign to the rooftop garden? In the case of a blossoming project to measure the impact of both a real garden and a virtual environment on Houston Methodist Cancer Center oncology patients, the sign came first. While pointing to a nonexistent garden, it planted the seed for a new clinical study and potentially an innovative patient therapy.

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A garden in the sky lifts patients’ spirits at Houston Methodist

TMC News, November 6th, 2019

A burst of color 21 stories above the Texas Medical Center, Horizon’s Hope garden offers Houston Methodist patients and staff the healing benefits of nature.

Plans for the rooftop garden began to bloom last fall when Renee Stubbins, Ph.D., senior research oncology dietitian, and Ashley Verzwyvelt, an oncology infusion nurse liaison, submitted a proposal for a natural oasis on the roof to the Center for Health and Nature.

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The cities designing playgrounds for the elderly

BBC, October 29th, 2019

In 2014 Jay Maddock, a professor of public health at Texas A&M University in the US, was on a research trip to China when one aspect of local culture caught his attention. “I took a walk to a park near my hotel in the city of Nanchang and noticed hundreds of elderly people exercising together,” he says.

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Can exposure to nature alleviate pain, distress during chemotherapy?

Houston Chronicle, October 29, 2019

Houston Methodist Cancer Center and Texas A&M University are exploring whether exposure to nature — via virtual reality or a live garden — can alleviate pain and distress for patients undergoing chemotherapy. If it works, this could reduce the need for prescription narcotics.

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Laura Bush developed her love for conservation by growing up in oil country

Dallas News, May 26, 2019

Midland may not seem the likely birthplace of a conservationist. But that is where an abiding appreciation of nature was awakened in Laura Bush. Thanks to the influence of her mother, the scientists at work in the oil fields, and the vast expanse of sky and land surrounding her as a young girl, she became devoted to the natural world.

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The Sky is the Limit: Laura Bush on Conservation

The Catalyst, Spring 2019

From admiring the Texas sky as a child to passionately advocating for conservation both during and after her time in the White House, Mrs. Laura Bush has been a longtime admirer — and protector — of nature.

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Texas A&M: Investigating Hospital Readmission Reduction Efforts

ASPPH, April 18, 2019

Reducing avoidable readmission — patients returning to the hospital within 30 days following discharge — has become a growing concern for hospitals. In a new study in the American Journal of Medical Quality, researchers led by Dr. Bita Kash, reviewed 4,886 published studies between Jan. 2006 and Jan. 2017 of hospital readmission reduction interventions.

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Former First Lady Laura Bush continues legacy of promoting nature at inaugural symposium

TMC News, February 19, 2019

The Center for Health & Nature hosted their annual Health & Nature Symposium on February 13th to connect scientists and leaders in exploring research priorities and future collaborations. Its goal is to research nature’s impact on patient and clinician care and integrate the results into clinical practice. Former First Lady Laura Bush honored the memory of her in-laws – President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush – and love of nature during The Center for Health & Nature Symposium.

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Seeking nature in the hospital

TMC, NEWS, March 4, 2019

The Center for Health & Nature held its annual symposium on February 13th at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.  The symposium featured research proposals to advance knowledge of the intersection of health and nature. Renee Stubbins, PhD presented her teams proposal which will examine if virtual reality gardening can affect health outcomes in cancer patients.  The proposed research will provide a novel and alternative treatment addressing two important conditions in oncology patients: pain and distress.

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Texas A&M Partners with Houston Methodist and Texan by Nature to Form the Center for Health & Nature

ASPPH, May 10, 2018

Houston Methodist Hospital, the Texas A&M University System and Texan by Nature are partnering to form the Center for Health and Nature. They will work together to advance health and nature research and education. The Center for Health and 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 health care – prevention, treatment and recovery.

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New health center set up at TMC by Houston Methodist, Texas A&M and Laura Bush’s Texan by Nature

Houston Business Journal, May 4, 2018

Announced May 2, the Center for Health & Nature is a collaboration between Houston Methodist Hospital, Texas A&M University System and Austin-based Texan by Nature, a nonprofit founded by former First Lady Laura Bush. The center will advance health and nature research and establish a healing garden at Houston Methodist.

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Center for Health & Nature to launch at Methodist

TMC News, May 3, 2018

A new Center for Health & Nature to be housed at Houston Methodist is anchored by the belief that nature is essential to healing and well-being. Former first lady Laura Bush discussed the need for the center by saying, “there’s a gap in research regarding what nature factors lead to increased health, what exposure to nature means and how much exposure is needed.”

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