Wellbeing and integrative health

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  • Associate Professor, Center for Spirituality and Healing

Roni Evans, PhD, DC, is an associate professor in the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program at the Center for Spirituality and Healing. Evans has a background in clinical research and qualitative research. Over the course of her career she has conducted numerous, randomized clinical trials assessing the effectiveness of self-management practices (including exercise) and manual therapies (including chiropractic care) for headaches, neck and back pain. Evans has explored patients’ views and experiences with different pain treatments, including complementary and alternative medicine. Evans has also developed educational programs focused on training complementary and alternative healthcare practitioners in evidence based medicine. Her current research focuses on optimizing self-management and integrative healthcare practices to facilitate wellbeing. 

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  • Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Medical School
  • Associate Director, Center for Rural Mental Health Studies

Jane Hovland, RN-MS, PhD, LP, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Dr. Hovland implements research involving chronic illnesses and mental health including stress and coping with chronic illness, alternative delivery systems for mental health care and interaction of physical and mental illnesses. She has worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in pediatric oncology and neurology, focusing on helping children and their families manage health challenges in a manner that enhances growth. She now maintains a private practice through the Center for Rural Mental Health Studies of the Medical School, Duluth, where she is recognized for her expertise in cognitive behavioral interventions in anxiety and depression. She has had numerous grants related to using and evaluating technology in rural settings, particularly integrating mental health services in rural primary care clinics.

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  • Founder and Director, Center for Spirituality and Healing
  • Professor, School of Nursing

Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, is the founder and director of the Center for Spirituality and Healing and a professor in the School of Nursing where she also serves as the co-faculty lead of the Doctorate in Nursing (DNP) specialty in integrative health and healing. Dr. Kreitzer is a renowned expert in mindfulness and wellbeing, health coaching and alternative medicine therapies. She has authored more than 100 publications and her new book, Integrative Nursing, was published by Oxford University Press in December 2013. 

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  • Manager, Nature-Based Therapeutic Services

Jean Larson, PhD, HTR, CTRS, manages the Nature-Based Therapeutic (NBT) services at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. She also leads nature-based therapeutics at the Center for Spirituality and Healing. Dr. Larson coordinates a certificate program accredited with the American Horticultural Therapy association. Through this, Larson provides consulting services, initiates community outreach, and assists in NBT research. Her research interests include: nature-based therapies, healing environments – therapeutic landscape design, therapeutic horticulture, animal assisted interactions, and care farms. 

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  • Director of Integrative Health Coaching, Center for Spirituality and Healing
  • Assistant Professor, Family Medicine

Karen Lawson, MD, ABIHM, is an assistant professor in Family Medicine and Director of Integrative Health Coaching for the Center of Spirituality and Healing. Dr. Lawson teaches integrative medicine in the UMN Medical School and has in depth expertise in shamanism, mind/body practices, yoga, dance/movement therapies, and systems of healing. Dr. Lawson’s special interests include rites of passage and rituals for healing. She directs all Health Coaching activities, including the Masters of Arts program in Integrative Health Coaching and the Health Coaching track of the post-baccalaureate certificate in Integrative Therapies and Healing Practices, all outside consulting contracts, and interdisciplinary research efforts.        

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  • Associate Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health

Toben F. Nelson, ScD, is an associate professor in the School of Public Health's Division of Epidemiology and Community Health.  Dr. Nelson’s research is focused in health policy, organizational change, health behavior during developmental transitions, influence of sports participation on health, social determinants of health, program evaluation, prevention of alcohol attributable harm, physical activity promotion, obesity prevention, and motor vehicle safety. His research recognizes the importance of environmental conditions for health and the value of combining a population perspective with an individual perspective for improving health.      

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  • Family Physician, University of Minnesota Physicians, Medical School

Carolyn J. Torkelson, MD, MS, is a practicing physician at the University of Minnesota Breast Center, Women’s Health Specialists. and the Mill City Clinic. Dr. Torkelson is also the medical director of Integrative Health with the University of Minnesota Physicians. She focuses on a holistic approach to women’s health care, ranging from menopause symptoms to breast cancer treatments.