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Texas A&M, Houston Methodist formalize funding agreement to support Center for Health & Nature

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) – Texas A&M has formalized a funding agreement with a Houston-area hospital to drive analysis on nature’s impacts on human well being.

The college and Houston Methodist Hospital have agreed to every commit $125,000 per yr to support the Center for Health & Nature. It’s a collaboration between the 2 organizations and a conservation group referred to as Texan by Nature.

Jay Maddock is the Center for Health & Nature’s co-director.

”The funding is letting us convey on a publish doc to do loads of the analysis and in addition some administrative support,” Maddock mentioned. “This will let us really accelerate the amount of research that we have and become a self-sustaining unit through grant funding.”

The middle’s work and analysis seeks to maximize the way in which connecting with pure environments can lead to more healthy outcomes.

“We see that in a variety of ways. One of it is protecting health through improving the quality of air or reduced flooding like we saw with Hurricane Harvey,” Maddock mentioned. “We also look at the innate human connection with nature, so when people go out into forests or parks, we see reductions in blood pressure, changes in cancer, etc.”

Maddock says the middle doesn’t simply take a look at how nature can have an effect on sufferers. They’re additionally finding out the way it may help healthcare employees as properly.

“A study that we’ve got planned with this money is what we’re calling a nature pill. The idea is that we’re going to bring physicians and nurses out to a natural setting for a long weekend and expose them to a lot of nature, and then look at how it changes their stress hormones, blood pressure, and things like burnout,” Maddock mentioned. “We know after the year and a half of COVID-19 we’re seeing a ton of burnout in the healthcare sector, and if nature is an intervention system where we can reduce people leaving the field, that’s a huge impact on both public health and health care.”

Some of the initiatives the middle is at the moment engaged on embody the consequences of digital home windows in hospital rooms, a program the place physicians prescribe nature to their sufferers, and creating psychological measures to change folks’s attitudes to spend extra time in nature.

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