Who We Are

The Nova Institute for Health is a heart-centered think tank that takes action for the good of people, places, and the planet. We look at the whole picture, the entire lived experience that influences health.   

A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Nova Institute was founded in 2007 by Professor Brian Berman, MD, a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine. Cultivating a broad, transdisciplinary community of thought leaders and partners, the Nova Institute has established an international reputation as a place for exploration and discovery. 

portrait of nova institute founder brian berman

If we look at the grand, interconnected challenges of our times—the unequal burden of disease, poor nutritional quality of the food system, racial, social and economic injustice—we see the urgency for taking a more upstream and integrative approach that will ultimately promote well-being and flourishing.” 

Professor Brian Berman, MD, Founder and President of the Nova Institute for Health 

Our History  

After founding the United States’s first academic health center program for integrative medicine (The Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine) in 1991, Professor Brian Berman helped ignite and lead a profound change in medical practice that focused on whole person care. Professor Berman was honored with the prestigious Bravewell Leadership Award for Integrative Medicine in 2005 in acknowledgement of his leadership. 

With the founding of The Institute for Integrative Health in 2007, the focus of this work broadened to look at all the factors that create health or drive illness and the eventual need for medical care.   

Since then, Professor Berman and his team of thought leaders have inspired innovative, evidence-based research, strategic partnerships, scientific publications, and action in academic medical centers and communities that have led to significant advances in health and healing. Professor Berman’s team has: 

  • Been awarded decades of funding from the National Institutes of Health for research that has shown the safety and effectiveness of integrative approaches to health; 
  • Nurtured a community of  integrative and innovative thought leaders who have authored close to 1,000 scientific, peer-reviewed publications; 
  • Made breakthroughs in research about the healing potential of art and nature, nutrition, and more comprehensive primary care;   
  • Pioneered research methodologies and metrics that evaluate the real-life impact of holistic care for those suffering from chronic illness as well as trauma;  
  • Opened the Green Road at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the nation’s largest wild healing garden, which has provided more than 12,000 servicemen and women and their families with a way to find respite and sustenance through an encounter with nature;   
  • Published Building Bridges, Defining Metrics, a consensus report from divergent stakeholders on how to successfully implement and evaluate community-based programs aimed at improving the health of urban and disadvantaged youth; and   
  • Helped establish influential professional and scientific networks and organizations, such as the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health and the Cochrane Complementary Medicine Field, that promote global collaboration and nurture advances in clinical care and research endeavors.