August 31, 2021
A burst of light. The sudden appearance of a bright, new star. In Latin, meaning “fresh, new, young.” These are all definitions of nova—and they are the inspiration behind our organization’s new name: Nova Institute for Health—of People, Places, and Planet.
Since founding the United States’ first academic health center program for integrative medicine thirty years ago, I’ve witnessed profound change in medical practice that focused on whole person care. Building on this movement, we created The Institute for Integrative Health in 2007, broadening our work to examine all the factors that create health or drive illness. We also nurtured a remarkable community of thought leaders who inspired innovative yet evidence-based research, partnerships, scientific publications, and action in academic medical centers and in the grassroots community that have led to significant advances in health and healing.
Today, we’re at an important juncture in our decades-long quest to transform the predominant approach to health and healthcare. It’s time to fundamentally shift how we think about health and well-being at all scales, from the individual to the local to the global. We’re building on our focus on “person health” and the context of peoples’ lives and communities (places) to embrace planetary health and the interwoven connections between all three.
With our new strategic direction, it was time for a new name.
Nova is a metaphor for our organization’s role as a catalyst for new ideas and to spark fresh, creative thinking. Novas, which are often cyclical and not merely one-time events, have long been a source of inspiration, meaning, and connection to the great mysteries of the universe. Most essential elements and building blocks of life emerged from a supernova.
Stay tuned in the months to come as we share the work we are doing and our stories of health and flourishing through a new website, an online “Integration Hub,” and exciting partnerships with like-minded organizations.
We’re so glad to have you on this journey with us!
Wishing you and your loved ones health and wellness,
Brian M. Berman, MD
President and Founder, Nova Institute for Health—of People, Places, and Planet
(formerly The Institute for Integrative Health)
Professor Emeritus Family and Community Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine