Hoosier Heartland Healing Collaborative

November 4, 2022

Generously supported by: Eskenazi Health & The Herbert Simon Family Foundation

In 2015, The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM) began our collaboration with Eskenazi Health (EH) in Indianapolis with a comprehensive training in self-care, stress-reduction, mind-body medicine, nutrition, exercise, and group support. An initial cohort of 200 “Wellness Champions” committed to learning mind-body tools, and integrating wellness perspectives and techniques into their daily lives and work. These Wellness Champions serve in one of the nation’s largest safety-net health systems, caring for all sectors of Indianapolis’ diverse population. The sustained integration of mind-body approaches across EH has had numerous positive outcomes, including lower blood pressure, reduced stress, weight loss, better family relationships, increased physical activity, closer workplace bonds, and a diffusion of self-care skills into the hospital and the broader community. 

In total, we have trained 350 clinicians and staff across EH, who have in turn brought CMBM’s model of self-care and group support to 4,500 EH employees, as well as more than 100,000 of the aging and low-income people whom EH serves. HHHC embodies our commitment to collaborate with community leaders to co-create programs that are responsive to a community’s unique experiences, needs, goals, and culture. Along with EH and HHHC leadership, CMBM will continue to build sustainable healing and a culture of well-being throughout Indianapolis.

By 2020, EH Wellness Champions had partnered with CMBM to launch the Hoosier Heartland Healing Collaborative (HHHC). Funded in part by the Herbert Simon Family Foundation, HHHC is an ongoing collaborative effort to address violence, addiction, and chronic stress in the Indianapolis community by equipping health care providers, educators, faith leaders, corrections staff, and other community leaders with proven stress- and trauma-relief skills. Through multiple Professional Training Programs in 2020 and 2020, CMBM led community programs focused on teaching the evidence-based self-care model and techniques to health care professionals and community leaders in the Indianapolis region. We provided the evidence-based, transformational science and tools needed to make mind-body medicine an integral, foundational part of HHHC’s mission.

Last week, we were delighted to join the HHHC leadership team to discuss what’s ahead for this important, community-driven program. We are especially grateful for EH leaders, including CEO, Lisa Harris, MD, who has consistently championed the use of mind-body medicine to build community resilience as part of her career-long dedication to improving health care for vulnerable and underserved populations. EH’s Wellness Champions and HHHC leadership have demonstrated that institution-wide transformation is possible, and with the added strain of COVID-19 on healthcare and first responders, it’s more necessary than ever.