Environmental Medicine Challenge Grant
Winter 2012 • Boston, MA
Blackstone Ranch Institute is offering a challenge grant to the alumnae of the Center for Integrative Medicine to see who among them can come up with the most innovative and practical way to advance the mission of environmental medicine. This year’s grant was awarded to Michele Couri, who will use the money to conduct a study of environmentally induced endocrine disruption in three communities in Chicago and use the results to launch a campaign in the Chicago area to educate and provoke legislative action on the control of chemical toxins.
Environmental medicine is based on the premise that what we eat, drink, breathe, place on our skin, or are otherwise exposed to in our environment has a direct effect upon our health. It represents an important early step in a broader effort to engage the health care community in an area that has long been neglected in conventional medical school teaching. The environmental medicine initiative was born in discussions during 2008 with Dr. Andrew Weil, the founder of integrative medicine. It was founded on the seminal idea that health care practitioners are among the most effective social change agents in the world because of their access to individual lives and the things that matter most to people.
Blackstone Ranch Institute provided initial seed money for a strategic planning team and the development of an environmental medicine online educational module which is now the second most popular module offered by the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona at Tucson.
The ultimate objective is to make an understanding of and concern for environmental influences on personal health an integral part of health care in this country.