Shenandoah Integrative Wellness
Academy & Retreat
Shenandoah Integrative Wellness Academy (SIWA) and Shenandoah Integrative Wellness Retreat (SIWR) will be the premier educational and clinical training site in the nation for our special populations—developing and sustaining a multi-disciplinary, integrated healing environment for military veterans with physical, mental and emotional wounds, high-level athletes with sports-related injuries and individuals suffering from debilitating addictions and chronic pain. SIWA will train the next generation of integrative medical experts, providing post-graduate and graduate level training and undertaking a comprehensive research program to document clinical outcomes. SIWR will provide a healing space for patients to experience holistic care in the context of a relaxing and welcoming environment. Military families will also be welcome to participate in healing activities.
Statement of the Problem
- Many of our military veterans and wounded warriors suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, traumatic brain injuries, repeated concussions, chronic pain, depression, despair, homelessness and many other challenges. A new approach to care is required as the current focus on masking chronic pain with opioid drugs is a colossal failure. The fact that over 20 military veterans commit suicide per day is absolutely unacceptable for a civilized nation and is an ongoing tragedy that receives relatively little attention.
- Many elite athletes have endured extraordinary levels of pain and discomfort from the effects of participating in violent contact sports designed for public entertainment. These athletes suffer from repeated concussions, multiple broken bones, severe cartilage damage and long-term brain damage. Several high-profile athletes have committed suicide and autopsies indicate a high percentage of individuals with signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head and neck region.
- The current nationwide opioid epidemic is a leading cause of death. Drug overdoses are especially prevalent in rural communities and among the working poor. Over-prescription of opioids is making them more prevalent and more deadly. We need to develop integrative medicine protocols to address the very real pain and suffering experienced by these patients. Alcohol abuse is another key area of addiction that can be successfully addressed by an integrative medicine approach.
- Think right about people-serve the highest good
- Exceed expectations
- Commit to Excellence
Areas of Focus
SIWA and SIWR will collaborate to support the overall vision of the Shenandoah Wellness Park by establishing a standard of excellence in three key areas of focus: education, clinical service and research.
SIWA will be a leader in education by providing a high-quality integrative medicine educational environment for allopathic medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, osteopathic doctors, acupuncturists, nutritionists and mental health specialists. SIWA will provide post-graduate training for medical professionals in the treatment of chronic pain caused by severe combat-related injuries and high-impact sports, post-traumatic stress syndrome, addictions and other areas of concern.
SIWA will also develop a graduate level academic environment to train the next generation of holistic healers; emphasizing ayurvedic medicine, naturopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, whole foods-based nutrition, massage, mental health counseling and spiritual counseling. SIWA will seek collaborative relationships with local colleges or universities to offer the educational training programs if additional or specialized facilities are necessary. The graduate level educational programs will be submitted to the appropriate accreditation councils and agencies for approval. Faculty members will be recruited nationally and internationally to share their expertise with students.
Short non-credit courses will be offered for the public in a Community Education format, providing evening and weekend public talks by experts in nutrition and healthy living, as well as offering hands-on cooking classes.
A first-rate healing environment will be developed at SIWR to facilitate the provision of excellent care. Patients will the opportunity to stay at SIWR for several weeks at a time to fully appreciate the benefits of the local environment and to experience healing at a deep level. The care providers at SIWR will seek to alleviate pain and suffering and encourage wellness in the three key populations we wish to serve. The interdisciplinary medical staff will be comprised of experts from many fields working together in an integrative and holistic healing environment. Patients will receive customized follow-up care via monitoring and health coaching. The cost of providing care will be partially supported by grants and contracts from the VA, the NFL and other professional sports leagues, as well as the private sector. Individuals in the professional and graduate level clinical training programs will pay modest tuition fees and assist in the delivery of clinical care.
Services to be offered (a partial list):
- Allopathic medicine (integrative or functional medicine focus)
- Herbal medicine (Western, Chinese, Ayurvedic)
- Pain management
- Mental health counseling
- Nutritional support
- Healthy cooking classes
- Contrast hydrotherapy
- Exercise (hiking, horseback riding, fishing, etc.)
- Spiritual counseling
Clinical outcomes will be monitored and assessed for continuous quality improvement. Data will be collected from patients prior to and after clinical visits on tablets using REDCap or other custom software. In collaboration with Cohen Veterans Biosciences and academic research facilities, SIWA faculty will develop a high-quality research program to track clinical outcomes as well as ongoing patient satisfaction with the integrative and holistic approach to wellness. Grants to support critical research activities will be written to the DOD, VA, NFL, foundations, etc.