Stories are how humans have always passed on wisdom, but too often, tales of real-world impact can get lost in the world of academic research. We recognize the importance of getting science and evidence-based information to many different audiences in understandable and engaging formats.
We are finding new ways to tell positive stories of health and flourishing and developing relationships with advocates, policymakers, and journalists. Amplified through our strategic partnerships, our learnings can inspire better approaches, policies, and practices and significantly improve the health of individuals, communities, and the planet.
Read commentary by Nova Scholar Fred Foote, who argues that health treatments for veterans and all Americans ought to include proven, non-medical interventions such as
It will truly take outrageous acts of courage to create the change we want to see, and it will require inclusivity and collaboration, combined with knowledge and experience, to improve the entire lived experience that influences health. That’s what we’ll be focusing on at Nova, and we are excited to tackle the challenge.
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.
Institute Scholar Dr. Steven Woolf‘s recent study revealed that between 2018-2020 U.S. life expectancy dropped by a huge margin and disproportionately impacted Black and Hispanic populations,
Institute Scholar Rebecca Etz was recognized for her commitment to “comprehensive, coordinated, person-focused care” and awarded the Barbara Starfield Primary Care Leadership Award. Watch the video here.
Dr. Chris D’Adamo, Director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Medicine and Program Director at the Institute for Integrative Health, joined
Healing is facilitated through safety, persistence, and trust.
Resources support us as we heal. They include reframing, responsibility, and positivity. “Making connections enabled participants to acquire and refine resources and skills that were essential in their healing journey. People also brought their own personal strengths to the journey.”
“Connection to others was an essential part of all the healing journeys.” Humans are social creatures, and even the most introverted of us need close relationships. Friends and family add meaning and value to life and help support us, in good times and bad. When we experience relational trauma, relationships can feel scary, but reestablishing safety and trust in relationships is where the healing happens. (To be clear, we do not mean reestablishing safety and trust with abusers, but rather finding other healing relationships.) “When safety and trust had been established, people were able to connect with helpers. The nature of the behaviours of helpers that fostered healing ranged from small acts of kindness to unconditional love.”
Healing probably means different things to different people, but one definition that emerged from the study is: “The re-establishment of a sense of integrity and wholeness.” Healing was an emergent property that resulted from each individuals’ complex healing journey, a result of bridged connections between resources and relationships. Healing, in this sense, does not mean cured—none of the study participants were cured of their ailments—”but all developed a sense of integrity and wholeness despite ongoing pain or other symptoms.” In varying degrees, “they were able to transcend their suffering and in some sense to flourish.” When we begin to heal, we find increased capacity for hope, renewed motivation to help others, and are more able to accept ourselves as we are.
Wounding happens when we experience physical or emotional harm. It can stem from chronic illness or by physical or psychological trauma for which we do not have the tools to cope, or a combination of those factors. “The degree and quality of suffering experienced by each individual is framed by contextual factors that include personal characteristics, timing of their initial or ongoing wounding in the developmental life cycle and prior and current relationships.”